• 09 Mar 2021 4:38 PM | Anonymous

    Canada’s services export sector accounts for the bulk of our economic activity, showing unmatched growth over the past two decades. And if you’ve ever sold a professional service to someone outside Canada, you’re a part of it.

    In our new webinar, Selling your services to the world: How to find new markets, our trade experts will reveal how service-oriented small businesses can take advantage of new opportunities for expansion and identify emerging international markets. 

    Join us live on Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET to discover:

    • The economic outlook for the Canadian services sector and key findings 
    • How you can take advantage of free trade agreements like CPTPP, CETA and CUSMA
    • The overall impact of COVID-19 on the sector and the road to recovery
    • How one Canadian company has succeeded in sustaining and expanding their export operations
    • Top emerging market opportunities for Canadian services exports

    Our panel


    Stephen Tapp headshot, EDC

    Stephen TappDeputy Chief EconomistExport Development Canada


    Meena Aier headshot, EDC

    Meena AierSenior Economist, Research and Analysis DepartmentEDC Economics

    Darren Smith headshot, EDC

    Darren SmithDirector, Services Trade Policy DivisionGlobal Affairs Canada

    Tanya C. Walker headshot, EDC

    Tanya C. WalkerLawyer and Managing PartnerWalker Law


  • 17 Jan 2021 11:52 AM | Anonymous




    DATE: JANUARY 7TH, 2021 - 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM 

    MODERATOR: TRISH NIXON, Director, Capital & Investments, VCIB /CoPower 

    Please click the link below to learn more about this exciting event! 


  • 16 Dec 2020 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    How best do we address climate change while ensuring we retain energy reliability in Canada?

    Solving pressing climate change issues:

    According to Natural Resources Canada, today our electricity grid today is 82% carbon-free. But our overall energy system is comprised of both electricity and natural gas and produces carbon or methane from several sources such as oil and gas, industrial plants, processing, landfills, transportation, buildings, and homes. Canada is entirely within its own control to move us toward a lower carbon footprint. Canada must first embrace innovative technologies to transition towards a low carbon economy, ensuring our technology companies have a “home court advantage” to enter export-markets.

    What are the technology options?

    The technology options are varied, but the premise is that we need to move to greater electrification of our building stock and transportation. By enhancing regulatory policy, strategic government incentives, codes and standards, and broadening financing, we achieve a full “value chain impact”: 

    • Ensure energy efficiency (and new LEED Buildings) remains the least-cost option to reduce energy consumption and install energy efficiency technologies that offer the deepest carbon reductions.
    • Boost industry capacity for installing geoexchange, the most space-efficient heating and cooling technology with decades of installations, building codes, and accepted CSA standards.
    • Support the development of distributed energy resources (DERs) or mini-grids including AI, with appropriate policy to avoid placing a burden on our local electric systems.
    • Encourage energy storage deployment to defer grid (T&D) investments, thereby more reliably backing up increasing amounts of intermittent solar and wind technologies.
    • Grow the bioeconomy in the north using biomass fuelled by locally sourced wood pellets.
    • Green our natural gas supply with increasing use of renewable natural gas (RNG).
    • Invest in scaled-up power-to-gas using electrolizers for storage in our gas distribution network.
    • Produce surplus hydrogen from our nuclear reactor fleet (off-peak) to deploy in HDVs.
    • Electrify fleets, install L-2/L-3 chargers, conduct pilots to mitigate load impacts on utilities.
    • Invest in cybersecurity protection to enhance operations of smart grid and electric vehicle (EV) deployments.
    • Support carbon capture, waste to energy, and other circular economy technologies.

    How to achieve a low-carbon society

    At the end of the day, there’s not one single policy, one single technology, or one single incentive, that will achieve a low carbon society in Canada. Rather, it’s moving forward to embrace innovative technologies as costs come down, better urban planning to include the smarter use of energy, and to recognize the full life cycle impacts of our decisions that will ensure we move in the right direction.

    Clean technology has the potential to greatly reduce and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change and achieve a low carbon society.

  • 11 Nov 2020 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    By: Anthony Dearden

    The case for patent protection of cleantech can sometimes be more easily made than for other technologies.  For example, intellectual property embodied purely in intangible software can sometimes face stiffer resistance from a patent office for being too abstract, resulting in protracted and more costly prosecution.  With national policy paving the way for heavy investment in environmentally clean technologies, cleantech's capital-intensive innovations often demand robust IP protection, especially in the form of patents, as a means of safeguarding the ability to leverage the IP over the long term for increased revenue generation. 

    Justifying the substantial R&D and manufacturing costs associated with cleantech can therefore require that the technology be exported to foreign markets.  While Canadian companies commonly file to protect their technology in Canada and the US, so too should Canadian owners of cleantech consider investing in IP protection outside of North America.  Securing IP in markets other than those of Canada and the US can assist companies in maximizing the value attached to their proprietary technology, and can provide them with the ability to leverage the technology under their own terms.  Conversely, cleantech that is not adequately protected where it is being used risks being devalued, and opens the door to third parties profiting from the innovation at the owner's expense. 

    Beyond the United States, Europe presents an attractive market for Canadian cleantech companies looking to expand internationally.  The scale of growth of cleantech in Europe is readily apparent from patent filings alone.  Filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) have generally seen an exponential growth over the last decade, with filings relating to hybrid vehicles, carbon capture, and nuclear seeing a nearly 150% to 300% increase, and filings for wind and solar energy likewise experiencing a nearly eight-fold increase.

    For Canadian cleantech companies considering filing for patent protection in Europe, it is first important to bear in mind some key differences between the IP systems of North America and those of Europe.

    A centralized application process

    Although efforts are still ongoing to bring about a single, unitary patent right covering multiple European countries, at present there does not exist a single, pan-European patent right.  However, the process of applying for a patent in Europe is relatively streamlined, and applicants can apply centrally, with a single application, via the EPO.  Once the patent application is granted by the EPO, the patentee has the flexibility to pick and choose in which specific countries they would like the patent to take effect.  The European patent is then split into a bundle of separate national rights.  Therefore, while the European application is pending, applicants benefit from the flexibility of retaining provisional rights in any number of European countries, without yet being required to commit to the jurisdictions in which protection is ultimately desired.

    European oppositions

    Because of the manner in which a single European application often leads to multiple national patents, attacking a competitor's European patent family can be a daunting and expensive prospect.  An exception to this general rule is the European opposition procedure.  For a 9-month window following grant, a European patent can be challenged at the EPO by filing a so-called opposition.  If successful, the European patent is deemed never to have existed, and all national rights stemming from the patent are revoked.  European oppositions therefore provide a very cost-effective means of centrally attacking a recently granted European patent.

    No grace period and a strict standard for priority claims

    Unlike in Canada and the US, a one-year grace period is not recognized in Europe, meaning that a prior disclosure of an invention anywhere in the world can be fatal to a European patent filing.  In addition to this, the EPO applies a very strict standard for recognizing a priority claim made in respect of an earlier-filed application.  Even relatively minor developments to an invention can result in the right to priority being lost, which when coupled with the lack of a grace period can pose a threat to effective patent protection if, for example, the technology has been publicly deployed after the provisional filing but before a subsequent non-provisional filing. Thus, whereas the North American patent systems offer applicants some protection against IP that has been disclosed prior to a patent filing, companies considering filing abroad, especially in Europe, should seriously consider getting on file at least a provisional application fully describing and claiming an invention before any public disclosure takes place.  In addition, it is especially important that developments to the technology be kept secret after the provisional filing, until they are included in a later-filed non-provisional application.


    Ensuring that ownership of IP is properly accounted for is a general tenet of any sound IP strategy.  In Europe, it is especially important for the transfer of ownership to be completed prior to filing a non-provisional application (such as a Patent Cooperation Treaty [PCT] application) that claims priority to an earlier-filed provisional application.  Absent a complete transfer of ownership from all inventors to the applicant(s) of the non-provisional application, it is possible, for instance, for a PCT application filed by the employer to not be entitled to the priority date of the provisional application.  This quirk of European patent law can have an unintended consequence in the event that an invention was disclosed during the priority year.  Once again, Europe's lack of a grace period, when coupled with the loss of a priority right, can result in new subject-matter contained in a PCT application being found not novel and consequently unpatentable.  Therefore, while it is generally advisable for companies that have filed a provisional application to ensure as soon as possible that rights in the IP are appropriately transferred to the company, with Europe in mind it is especially important to do so before the subsequent non-provisional application is filed. 

    Key differences between the European and North American patent systems, such as the ones above, underscore the importance of properly capturing key technology in an early first filing.  While also good practice for Canada and the US, a robust priority filing may particularly benefit the applicant and increase the value of the IP in Europe. 

    If you are a Canadian cleantech company interested in filing for patent protection in Europe, contact Anthony Dearden for more information.

  • 09 Nov 2020 7:45 AM | Anonymous

    Nov 06, 2020

    Geoffrey Morgan 

    CALGARY – In a sign of the changing environment in the oilpatch, North America’s largest pipeline company Enbridge Inc. set new net-zero emissions targets Friday and outlined how the company sees the global energy transition from carbon-based energy to renewables playing out over the next few decades.

    Enbridge’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050 aligns the Calgary-based pipeline and utilities giant with the country’s three largest oil producers Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc. and Cenovus Energy Inc., along with European oil majors Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and BP Plc. — all of whom have adopted net-zero targets.

    “Sustainability is integral to our ability to safely and reliably deliver the energy people need and want,” said Al Monaco, president of Enbridge. “How well we perform as a steward of our environment, a safe operator of essential energy infrastructure, and as a diverse and inclusive employer is inextricably linked to our business success and our ability to create long-term value for all stakeholders.”

    The move comes as the Canadian oilpatch is facing extreme pressure from influential pension funds and fund managers to reduce its carbon footprint, the federal government’s stringent environmental policy measures, and companies’ fears of being excluded from ESG-indexes which are attracting billions of dollars from a growing number of eco-conscious retail and institutional investors.

    “We expect energy companies to focus on this aspect of ESG more closely given increasing institutional interest. It is by addressing all components of ESG that the Canadian energy industry can move away from its international reputation as “dirty” or higher GHG oil and increase the understanding of practical initiatives that lower carbon intensity and help improve the livelihood of those in local communities,” wrote Dennis Fong, an analyst with The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, in a note in October.

    The industry is also watching a changing political landscape in its biggest market south of the border, with the possible election of former vice-president Joe Biden as the next president of the country. Renewable energy and transitioning away from oil are key planks of the Democrat challenger’s economic policy.

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    Republican President Donald Trump had officially withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, but as Biden appears poised to win the election, he has vowed America will rejoin the global climate change accord in “77 days.”

    The Canadian industry is embarking on its own green wave, regardless of new environmental policy measures that may be implemented by a possible new U.S. administration.

    A net zero target is a great response, given the growing requirements from investors, governments and society

    Benjamin Israel, Pembina Institute

    This week, the governments of Canada and Alberta signed a deal on methane emissions reduction targets, wherein the federal government accepted the oil-producing province’s target of reducing methane emissions 45 per cent below 2014 levels by 2025. Alberta also recently outlined a natural gas strategy to facilitate the global energy transition.

    The moves by Enbridge and upstream producers Canadian Natural and Suncor to set net-zero targets and reduce emissions are an encouraging sign across the oil and gas value chain, said Pembina Institute’s Benjamin Israel.

    “I think Enbridge announcing a net zero target is a great response, especially given the growing stringent requirements from investors, governments and society,” said Israel, a fossil fuels analyst, adding that as the industry makes these pledges, they could go a step further by reducing the emissions intensity of the oil and gas flowing through the pipelines.

    Enbridge ships the bulk of Canadian oil exports to U.S. refineries primarily in the Midwest, and has faced delays and challenges on a number of pipelines projects, including its Line 3 replacement project in Minnesota, and its Line 5 tunnel project in Michigan, amid opposition from environmental and local groups.

    An Enbridge gas pipeline exploded in Ohio.

    Enbridge sees opportunity in such emerging areas as renewable natural gas. Photo by Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    In a move to reduce environmental scrutiny surrounding its operations, the midstream company set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and also pledged to reduce its emissions by 35 per cent by 2030. At the same time the company intends to diversify its board by appointing women to at least 40 per cent of board positions and have visible minorities represent 20 per cent of positions by 2025.

    In an investor call Friday, Al Monaco said the company continues to see opportunities in offshore wind projects, in solar projects and also in emerging fields such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen projects.

    “Global energy demand will rise in the next two decades, driven by population growth and an increasing middle class and urbanization,” Monaco said, noting that energy demand in developing countries is expected to rise by at least 35 per cent.

    “We’re going to need all sources of supply to meet demand until at least 2040 and very likely beyond,” Monaco said, adding that hydrocarbon-based energy would still be in demand in 2040 given growing energy demand and natural gas, in particular, “will dominate global energy.”

    “Some people call this the bridge (fuel) but in our view it’s an awfully long bridge,” Monaco said.

    The company’s most recent sustainability report shows that Enbridge emitted 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019 from its operations, including natural gas combustion. The company also counted just shy of seven million tonnes of CO2 emissions from electricity it purchased and consumed in the same year. All told, a 35 per cent reduction translates to a 4.71 million tonne CO2 emissions reduction for the company.

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    Enbridge plans to reduce its emissions intensity and overall emissions through a combination of replacing old equipment and changing how its existing equipment is powered by installing additional solar arrays, chief sustainability officer Pete Sheffield said.

    "It's an awfully long bridge" Enbridge president Al Monaco

    The new targets, he said, are also tied to employee and executive bonus compensation across the organization.

    Projects and operations such as cogeneration, carbon capture and sequestration, CO2 flooding, and wind farms are not only helping to improve the GHG intensity of the electrical grid (equivalent to removing over 4.5 million cars annually from the road), but they are also driving lower supply costs for producers at competitive rates of return, CIBC’s Fong wrote.

    “Full adoption of ESG-based investing is becoming a major focus, and appropriate and fulsome disclosure standards are needed to improve both intra- and inter-industry comparability,” Fong said. “We believe the mass adoption of ESG-based portfolio management and appropriate carbon-related disclosure could provide better transparency for Western Canada’s role as a participant in the energy transition.”

    Still, Pembina’s Israel said, the commitments by large companies show that government can adopt more stringent environmental policies, as companies are making pledges that are more stringent than existing government targets.

    For example, Israel said the commitments by Enbridge take the company further than the United State’s own current emissions pledges. He likened the move to the way power companies in Alberta have shown they’ve been able to eliminate coal-fired emissions years earlier than the scheduled phase-out date of 2030.

    “It is great that there is a willingness in the sector to go beyond current policies,” Israel said.

  • 02 Nov 2020 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    OSEA would like to thank all those who participated and contributed to the success in our annual GEDO TM Webinar Event on October 20th 2020. This has been our longest standing initiative to help showcase sustainable technology and projects all across Ontario while helping to accelerate into a clean energy economy. We have posted a video of the full event in the link below to those who could not attend and those who wish to learn more about our organization and our sustainability commitments.


  • 28 Oct 2020 2:58 PM | Anonymous Powered Home, Rockville MD, Courtesy of Solar Energy WorldCredit: Solar Energy World

    Laureen Peck Chief Marketing Officer for Solar Energy World

    Solar has prospered over the past four years in the USA despite Section 201 tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, a reduction in the federal Investment Tax Credit and fluctuating policies. In fact, the industry is expected to break a new record, adding more than 18 GW in 2020. According to investment firm, Wood Mackenzie, the market will continue growing, hitting 20 GW in 2022. But, many people wonder how the results of the upcoming election could affect the solar industry and the adoption of rooftop solar in particular.

    Here the two main reasons solar will keep growing despite the election outcome:

    1) Solar enjoys broad support from both Democrat and Republican voters 

    There are several studies and surveys that support this. A recent nationwide online survey, published by PNAS, found that broad support exists across the political spectrum for a future powered mostly by renewable energy sources. Another recent study published by Nature Research Journals reached the same conclusion that support for renewable energy and for solar in particular crosses party lines

    In fact, solar adoption among registered Republicans and Democrats show that political affiliation doesn’t seem to matter that much. A study done by Google project, Sunroof, found “34 percent of properties with solar belonged to registered Democrats, 20 percent belonged to registered Republicans and the remaining 46 percent were independents or unregistered.”

    There are some differences in what motivates homeowners to go solar. All studies show that both Democratic and Republican solar owners are influenced by a desire to mitigate climate change to some extent, but Republicans’ adoption of residential solar is attributed more to the belief in the right to self-generate as this quote illustrates, “Solar provides some choice from being tethered to these government-created monopolies,” says Debbie Dooley, who leads the Green Tea Coalition, an offshoot of the Tea Party. “Solar equals freedom,” she continues.

    Also interesting to note, the federal tax credit that offsets the costs of installing solar panels enjoys support from 89 percent of Americans — including 83 percent of Republicans.

    2) Solar saves money

    Regardless of who people vote for, everyone agrees saving money is a good thing. According to Pew Research, the majority of homeowners site electricity cost savings as the primary motivator for making a switch to solar power. Environmental considerations come in second.

    That being said, solar has seen a dramatic drop in price. Research from MIT shows that over the past 40 years, the price of photovoltaic modules has dropped by 99 percent, which makes owning solar more affordable for more people.

    Since the MIT study was published, solar pricing has dropped even more. Today, consumers shopping for solar panels can benefit from an unforeseen outcome of the current COVID-19 crisis. Another more recent study from Wood Mackenzie shows that the cost of U.S. solar power is dropping faster than expected as the coronavirus stifles demand. “Residential-system prices will fall 17% over the next five years”, the research company said Wednesday. “That’s steeper than the 14% it had expected before the coronavirus.”

    The lower price tag for panels for homeowners who wish to own their solar system, and the increasing availability of Solar Leasing and Solar PPAs that allow homeowners to literally pay nothing to install solar so they can lower their utility bill, have also had a huge impact on the growth of solar

    Even more interesting, other data shows that the cost of solar is becoming cheaper than fossil fuels worldwide, even without subsidies. So, if tax breaks and subsidies are eventually ended in the USA, solar adoption will still grow.

    All the data shows there is good news for the solar industry and for anyone interested in running their homes on sunshine.  

    It is logical to assume that if the candidate who supports more investment in renewable energy research and production wins, solar and other renewable energies will see bigger and faster growth.  However, regardless of the outcome, solar isn’t going away.

  • 27 Oct 2020 10:46 AM | Anonymous

    OSEA is proud to announce VANCITY Community Investment Bank has joined as a corporate member and will be represented by Jonathan Frank, Managing Director of Co-Power, a leader in community financing of clean power and energy efficiency projects for positive community social change

  • 26 Oct 2020 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    Aird & Berlis LLP | Aird & McBurney LP

    October 20 2020

    On October 8, 2020, the Ministry of Energy, Development and Mines posted a regulatory proposal detailing planned amendments to Ontario’s Net Metering Regulation to allow for “demonstration of community net-metering projects.” The proposal summary states that community net metering “would support the development of innovative projects such as net-zero communities using distributed energy resources.” As we previously discussed, Ontario has allowed net metering since the Net Metering Regulation came into force in 2006. Net metering involves an arrangement between an electricity utility and customer, such as a homeowner or business, whereby the customer generates electricity for their own use from a renewable source, while still drawing electricity from the grid when it is needed. Subject to program rules, customers can then sell their self-generated renewable electricity to the grid where they generate more than they need for their own purposes. The Ministry of Energy is proposing to permit community net metering demonstration projects which would provide customers and developers more options to participate in net metering initiatives that may help lower the community’s costs and meet sustainability goals. Community net metering would be an arrangement allowing the transfer or sharing of credits from generation facilities within a community across multiple metered accounts. Embedded renewable generation and potentially energy storage facilities would be used to supply the community as well as send any generation that exceeds the community’s needs to the grid. The supply to the grid would result in electricity bill credits for participating account in the community, which could be used to offset costs of electricity consumption from the grid.

    The new model would be prescribed in amendments to the Net Metering Regulation and would require elements such as: a net metering arrangement between the local electricity utility and the customer leading the community net metering project – the net metering agreement will describe the roles, responsibilities and obligations of the parties; behind the meter (BTM) renewable generation and energy storage becoming part of the community electrical system; billing of sub-metered customers in the community in accordance with Ontario’s Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010, the Unit Sub-Metering Code, and any other applicable codes and rules; reporting requirements to measure performance; and compliance with all applicable electricity codes and rules in Ontario. The proposed community net metering model is intended to align with Ontario’s broader electricity policy objectives including rate fairness for all customers; consumer protection; enabling new business opportunities; and, ensure meaningful opportunities exist for Indigenous participation. In terms of regulatory impact, the community net metering model aims “to remove regulatory barriers to enable business opportunities and spur innovation in the sector.” The Ministry of Energy states that the projects could test the potential for innovative energy solutions to provide benefits to customers and address grid issues. The Ministry of Energy indicates that it is seeking input (by November 22, 2020) on the proposed community net metering requirements, “including flexibility that may be needed to encourage innovation in integration of distributed energy technologies and applications.” When implemented, the changes to the Net Metering Regulation (or new Regulation) will support the implementation and monitoring of “demonstration projects to inform future policy development”, including “potential future enhancements to the net metering framework.”

  • 02 Oct 2020 9:30 AM | Anonymous

    In the speech from the throne, Governor General Julie Payette reiterated that this Liberal government wants to “build back better” while Canada recovers from the economic and health crisis of Covid-19. While the government fully supports investing in clean energy and good paying jobs, there are many details still unknown, and there will need to be input to the federal government on how best the government can deliver over the coming years.

    The speech outlined four key areas that support the OSEA mission in Ontario, which represents about 40 percent of Canada’s economy;

    1. Building Retrofits

    The government has announced $2B to invest in building retrofits to get the transformation of ourcommercial building stock and housing across Canada energy efficient. While a significant first step there is much more investment required out to 2050. These funds could create an Energy Efficiency Bank for Canada and be levered to the $15-$20 B required with today’s ultra-low interest rates. More skills training and capacity building is needed, especially in technologies like Geo-Exchange. Ontario has many skilled companies in this technology and is ready to accelerate change.

    2. Clean Power

    The government intends to spend $2.5B in clean energy and renewables in Canada. Since renewables are now less expensive than other traditional sources of electricity, there will be huge opportunities here for those in the sector and companies wanting to secure contracts. For Ontario this translates into roughly $1B of allocated funds. There will have be enhanced provincial policies on skills training, and there might be greater involvement of the work being done by the IESO to more rapidly open new market revenues that will compliment traditional wind and solar with energy storage and ancillary services.

    3. Zero-Emission vehicles

    The government will spend $1.5B to get zero emission bus fleets and charging technology to be adopted faster, targeting some 5,000 transit and school buses which now are less than 10 percent of the HD and medium vehicle fleets. In addition to this statement will be the need for procurement so more of it occurs nationally. Additionally, studies on how the distribution utilities will accommodate these new loads should be undertaken. For Ontario, this could translate into roughly $600m.

    4. Remote Communities

    Here the federal government intends to spend $2.5B for clean energy and another $2B for building retrofits. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure indigenous housing and communities are properly built, rebuilt and become resilient to the fast impacts of climate change.

    OSEA and its membership will work hard to advance all of the above areas.


    Dan Goldberger

    Chair, OSEA

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