Future Energy Systems was launched in 2016 with $75 million from the Government of Canada’s Canada First Research Excellence fund, to help Canada transition to a low net-carbon energy economy.
We focus on multidisciplinary research that develops the energy technologies of the near future, integrates them into today’s infrastructure, and examines possible consequences for our society, economy, and environment. We also contribute to the development of solutions for challenges presented by current energy systems.
Our name describes our mandate:
Future starts later today –– not the flying cars era, but technology that will impact our lives very soon. Consider: 15 years ago, the smartphone was considered a technology of the future.
Energy comes from many sources, and we have research teams working on renewable (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal) and non-renewable conventional sources (hydrocarbons). Our researchers also examine technology that links multiple energy sources.
Systems are the complex processes that bring energy to you –– meaning we study how new technologies can impact our society, economy, environment, and infrastructure.
Think of it this way: when the first car was developed, there were many technical questions –– how do we make it work? How do we make it safe? How do we make it cost-effective?
There were also ‘systems’ questions: what happens to all the horses? Are the streets wide enough? How do we fill all the gas tanks? How will neighborhoods look? How much will all of this cost?
There were also systems questions that no one imagined: if 24 million Canadians drive cars by 2017, what will it mean for our environment?
We can’t predict every question that will arise from the widespread integration of new energy systems, but decisions we make today can shape our use of these technologies for decades to come. We’re planning for the future, and we’ll train a new generation of experts –– up to 1,000 highly qualified personnel –– who can spend their careers integrating new energy systems into our society.
Future Energy Systems personnel are signatories of a Conduct Charter outlining their duties and responsibilities with respect to the stewardship of public funds. Read the text of the Charter here.