SGIN Webinar q&a

Energy Transition During a Global Pandemic: Q&A with Webinar Panelists

September 18, 2020

Energy transition is proving to be a complex and ever-evolving journey that will continue to advance for decades to come. The energy industry is not solely dependent on its transition, it involves interdependent initiatives across several different generations and sectors. With this in mind, SGIN has pulled together three panelists from varying sectors who have one common goal in mind, energy transition. Our panelists will take part in a collaborative discussion on their diverse perspectives on energy transition during a global pandemic, the future of sustainable energy, and how our individual decisions can have real impact.

Here is a brief introductory Q&A on the varying perspectives surrounding how energy transition relates to our panelists.

Meredith Adler, Executive Director at Student Energy

Q: As a young person in the energy industry, how do you feel youth plays a role in energy transition, now and in the future? 

A: Young people will be at the forefront of the energy transition because they are willing to take on complex challenges and collaborate to implement innovative solutions in their communities. 

However, they too often lack the financial support, professional networks, and accessible leadership development programs that are necessary to enter these pathways for action. Youth innovation is perhaps the most precious resource we have at our disposal for delivering a sustainable future. 

We must continue to empower them and create space for intergenerational collaboration to generate innovative solutions for complex energy and climate problems.

Paul Arsenault, President & CEO of Energia Inc. 

Q: From your perspective as a sustainable builder and developer of real estate, what are/will be the most significant impacts of energy transition in your industry?

A: As a builder/developer, I believe the most significant impacts of energy transition in this industry will be the following:

  • An emphasis on “smart-sized” and thoughtfully designed buildings which take advantage of the sun’s free energy.
  • A focus on improved energy efficiency and energy performance requirements.
  • The integration of renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal.

These three strategies, if applied to as many projects as possible, will result in many measurable benefits to the economy, employment, and the environment.

Herb Emery, Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics

Q: From an economic perspective, what are the impacts/challenges of transitioning society to energy sustainability?

A: We’re still not totally clear on what the economic objective of energy transition is. Is the goal to lower power usage, or create more affordable power? Does it make sense to sell off the product, or try to regulate the market? We need to have a better view of what the current and future demand for energy will be in order to optimize its supply for sustainability. Furthermore, the current energy regulator environment is not compatible with energy solutions. It will not be possible to move forward with transition unless the system is modernized. We must have a clear view of what we’re trying to accomplish with energy transition in order to grasp the level of investment.

Sustainable energy continues to prove its importance within our society. In order to achieve a more sustainable future, we need to continue to come together and collaborate on energy transition initiatives. We are looking forward to learning from our panelists as they each bring a unique perspective on their lived experiences working towards energy transition in their industries.

To hear more from our panelists, sign up for our free webinar on September 23rd, 2020.