Minister O’Regan gives keynote at 2020 Fall Forum

The Marine Renewables Canada 2020 Fall Forum was held on November 4-5, 2020 in Halifax and virtually. A smaller event than the annual conference, the Forum allowed the association to hold a safe event that was designed to encourage in-person participation with all current public health protocols implemented – and – will also provide the tools and ability for members and industry across the country and internationally to join virtually.

The Forum created an opportunity the industry hasn’t had for awhile – bringing  members, industry, partners, and colleagues together to re-connect, get updates on opportunities, and strategize on the path ahead.

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan joined the Forum in-person to provide a keynote address which included the announcement of $28.5 million to Sustainable Marine for the development of its tidal array project at FORCE.

The Forum also featured an address from the Honourable Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Energy and Mines for Nova Scotia and presentations and updates from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Natural Resources Canada, the Business Network for Offshore Wind, Ocean Energy Europe, multiple project and technology developers, Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE), Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA), Smart Grid Innovation Network, Clean Foundation, Nova Scotia Power, Sustainable Oceans Applied Research (SOAR), and several suppliers.


Thank you to all Fall Forum sponsors, speakers, session chairs, and attendees! It was a great day for the marine renewable energy sector in Canada. Marine Renewables Canada was so glad to bring everyone together in Halifax and virtually.

COVID-19 Business Support Resources for Members

Marine Renewables Canada is dedicated to supporting our members and the industry at all times and want to do whatever we can to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are monitoring policies and supports for businesses that are being established by government and will be compiling these for you. This information can be found on the Marine Renewables Canada Members’ Portal  here. Members have a password for this service – if you have forgotten it, please contact

We will also be emailing additional updated information on business resources periodically. NOTE: We will be updating these resources as regularly as possible, but policies and supports are evolving quickly and this resource might not always capture the most up to date information (we will do our best!).

Marine Renewables Canada staff have been working to connect with many of you to understand what challenges you’re facing and encourage you to call and/or email anytime if you’d like to discuss the impacts of COVID-19. Let us know where there are gaps in programming, supports that would work best for you, etc. Feel free to email Elisa Obermann at or call 902-817-4317 or Amanda White at or 902-717-0716 any time.  We will continue to communicate with governments on how our members and the industry are being impacted and advise on how your needs can be supported.

Marine Renewables Canada & WiRE Establish Partnership

Marine Renewables Canada is excited to announce a new partnership with Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE). WiRE’s mission is to advance the role and recognition of women working in the energy sector. Inclusive of all renewable energy and clean technologies, its programming includes capacity-building field trips, networking meet-ups, an awards recognition program, student bursaries, speed mentoring and more!

To learn more about WiRE visit:

British Columbia emerges from its “dark years”

December 7, 2018 ~ Chris Campbell

Yesterday, a local commentator referred to the post-2012 era of BC governance as the “dark
years”! Members of the Marine Renewables Canada family have experienced them as the
silent and frustrating years as we saw interest in diversification of clean energy supplies and
attendant economic opportunity lost in a dogma that no new electricity (other than Site C
hydro!) would ever be needed. Member companies gave up, a few gallant souls went back to
the 2004 status of a mutually-supporting coffeeclatch and we and the governments clung to
research, knowledge and tool development at the University of Victoria as a bookmark for
eventual action by the sector.

But, all this has changed! On December 5 2018, the consortium of NDP government supported
by Greens, a multifaceted Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council and a host of
industry players are launched in a climate action initiative that takes a leap forward from the
2008-2011 foundation laid by the Gordon Campbell Liberals.

The goal is greater and the plan more integrated and inclusive. It is the beginning of a strategy
designed to build a new economy while transitioning to the low-carbon economy needed for
decades to come.

Prior to 2012 Marine Renewables Canada (OREG) was involved in clean energy, electrification
and clean industry strategy development. We worked to demonstrate where new business and
economic opportunities would come from and with existing industry we explored the business
value of products and processes based on consumption of clean electricity. There was a
remarkable alliance of industrial processors, the clean electricity sector and BC Hydro.
That was shelved but has now reemerged.

A couple of years ago Merran Smith of Clean Energy Canada (and cochair of the advisory
Council) asked MRC to help bring together the clean electricity associations. CANCore emerged
with a clear message that Canada had a massive advantage in climate action due to existing and
undeveloped clean electricity resources.

We have seen that message resonate federally already, and now we see it as central to the BC
strategy – Clean Electrification – of everything – as fast as possible!

By 2030 the strategy is intended to deliver:
• Ca 700,000 electrical, hybrid or hydrogen new light-duty vehicles
• Ca 300,000 residential heat pumps
• 50m m2 of commercial space heated and cooled by heat pumps
• 60 large industrials replacing natural gas with heat pumps
• More than half of gas line compressors powered by electricity
• Electric-powered ferries, and
• Significant adoption of electric and hybrid heavy goods and industrial vehicles.

All of which suggests that:
“the policies in this strategy will require an additional 4,000 gigawatt-hours of
electricity over and above currently projected demand growth to electrify key
segments of our economy. This is equivalent to increasing BC Hydro’s current systemwide
capacity by about 8 per cent, or about the demand of the City of Vancouver. We
can meet this increased electricity use with existing and planned projects that harness
B.C.’s vast wealth of clean, renewable power.

Meeting our targets beyond 2030 will require substantial additional volumes of new
clean electricity to further electrify transportation, industry, and buildings.

BC Hydro will undertake a transformational review that addresses changing energy
markets, new utility models and emerging technologies to deliver on CleanBC’s longerterm
electrification goals. These include both generating and acquiring energy,
maximizing B.C.’s capacity advantage, supporting clean economic development, and
adapting to growth in distributed and district energy and new digital technology. This
work will be carried out over the course of 2019.

Incorporating these findings and the strategic direction set by CleanBC, BC Hydro will
prepare a new Integrated Resource Plan to incorporate new objectives and develop a
new path forward for electricity in B.C.”

The strategy once again brings forward the economic aspects of this development:
“we (can) use our position as a clean energy leader to grow our innovative technology
sector; where we export our expertise and products to make a difference in the lives
of hundreds of millions.

With clean electricity as the foundation for the prosperous and sustainable future for
this province, BC Hydro is taking steps to position us for enduring success in the
rapidly changing global energy sector.”

So, we need to restart our efforts with BC Hydro, addressing the longer-term opportunities
offered by river, tidal and wave energy. A 2019 project!

But we also need to engage at the indigenous and incorporated community level around what
might be more immediate opportunities:
“The CleanBC Communities Fund (CCF) will encourage investments in small-scale,
community-owned energy generation from sources such as biomass, biogas,
geothermal heat, hydro, solar, ocean or wind power to offset community energy use.

The fund will start accepting applications this year with $63 million of combined
federal and provincial funding available for the first wave of capital funding. Projects
will have to achieve at least one of the following outcomes:
• Increase the community’s capacity to manage renewable energy,
• Increase access to clean energy transportation,
• Increase the energy efficiency of buildings, or
• Increase generation of clean energy”

“By 2030, the Strategy targets the implementation of all four pillars in the remote
communities served by the 22 largest diesel-powered electricity generation stations in
B.C. (12 BC Hydro stations and 10 Indigenous Services Canada stations). The Strategy
aims to reduce province-wide diesel consumption for generating electricity in remote
communities by 80 per cent by 2030.

Additional support will be directed to the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative, with
matching funding from the federal government. The money will support project
planning, feasibility and design in on- grid and off-grid Indigenous communities who
are working to advance energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

These are intended to
• develop renewable heating systems, including heat pump technology and
district energy systems; and
• implement renewable energy projects to offset all or most remaining diesel
generation, including rooftop solar photovoltaic and community-scale
renewable systems. “

The full strategy is downloadable at:

Marine Renewables Canada to focus on synergies with offshore wind

With a growing global effort to develop climate change solutions and increase renewable electricity production, along with Canada’s strengths in offshore and ocean sectors, Marine Renewables Canada has made a strategic decision to grow its focus by officially including offshore wind energy in its mandate.

Legislation Places Nova Scotia in Position of Global Leadership on Marine Renewable Energy

Today the Government of Nova Scotia proclaimed the Marine Renewable-energy Act, a major milestone for Canada’s marine renewable energy sector.

The Act provides a framework for the governance and development of marine renewable energy resources – including tidal, wave, and offshore wind energy. Key features of the Act include the designation of areas of priority for development, as well as a licensing and permitting regime.

Policy document: Tackling climate change by switching to clean power

In May, Marine Renewables Canada participated in a roundtable convened by Clean Energy Canada to discuss electrification and develop policy options that could feed into federal and provincial governments work on establishing a national climate plan for adoption by early 2017. The roundtable was also attended by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Catherine McKenna who emphasized the importance of electrification as a climate change solution and stressed the need for collaboration of “unusual suspects” to work on policy solutions.

The outcome of the roundtable is a policy recommendations document “A Canadian Opportunity: Tackling Climate Change by switching to clean power” which was also submitted to the Climate Change Portal (and an earlier version was sent to you in mid-June).

The document has been well received by officials working on the national climate plan – and contains many recommendations that would support the advancement of marine renewable energy in Canada.

Clare Demerse of Clean Energy Canada has also synthesized aspects of the policy document in her blog post here.

Marine Renewables Canada will continue to work with Clean Energy Canada and other alliances like the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CanCORE) to advocate for increased clean electrification that will support the growth of our marine renewable energy sector and help Canada work towards a low carbon economy.

For questions, please contact Elisa Obermann at (902) 817-4317 or