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Energy Connections 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018
A day of learning, engagement and inspiration on British Columbia’s clean transportation initiatives

On September 15th, 2018 over 120 individuals from industry, government, academics and the community at large, gathered at BCIT’s Burnaby Campus to discuss ways to clean up British Columbia’s largest polluter and greenhouse gas emitter, the transportation industry.

The day began with opening remarks from Bowinn Ma, elected MLA for North-Vancouver Lonsdale & Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink, with an introduction from John Dymond, from the School of Transportation at BCIT. Bowinn emphasized that smart land use planning and transportation planning need to be integrated. We need to work with local governments, build the right type of housing along busy corridors at the right price. Transit oriented development in complete communities reduces transportation costs. To do this, we need cooperation from all levels of government and society.

Transportation and Land Use Planning

Bowinn Ma’s opening remarks lead seamlessly into the first panel discussion of the day on Transportation and Land Use Planning. Moderated by Dr. Joe Sulmona, Principal of Sky Blue Sea Enterprises, this panel explored how municipal planners and policy makers are working with mass transit to reduce emissions. Derrick Cheung discussed TransLink’s Adjacent and Integrated Development (AID) Program and how developers are creating more homes in walking distance of transit to accommodate the region’s expected 1.2 million new residents within the next 30 years. Tim Barton from the City of Vancouver discussed the Transportation 2040 initiative, where the city plans to accommodate for two-thirds of all trips by 2040 to be non-car (foot, bike, transit), while capping the number of cars at current levels. David Oliver discussed the need for more access to information to give travelers more choice when it comes to deciding routes and modes of transportation.  Patricia Bell emphasized the important role municipalities play in influencing emissions in their communities and described the elements to consider to reduce these emissions. She showed evidence of progress in the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Corridors in BC and in Southern Alberta.

Session 2: Beyond the Barriers to Charging

Joey Dabell from BCIT moderated the second session, Beyond the Barriers to Charging. This session introduced participants to a wealth of successes and pilots surrounding electrical load management, 100% EV-ready Multi Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs), and seamless mobility. Charlotte Argue, from Plug In BC explained that BC’s electric vehicle (EV) uptake is above the Canadian average uptake, and introduced the audience to numerous programs in BC aimed at supporting EV uptake. Neil MacEachern shared that In the Port Coquitlam area, 40% of emissions are from Light/passenger vehicles and 25% of emissions are from heavy vehicles. He pointed out a number of regulatory barriers to EV infrastructure, and explained methods Port Coquitlam used to overcome these barriers. Anaïssia Franca from the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CURTIC) discussed the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial. The first phase of this project will launch in Spring 2019, where four Fast Charging electric battery buses will be used for route 100 along Marine Drive in Vancouver.





After a hardy warm lunch and a tour through BCIT’s Energy OASIS (Open Access to Sustainable Intermittent Sources) demonstration, attendees returned to explore multi-modal technologies developed by local companies that help reduce emissions around the movement of container goods in session 3, The Future of Freight, moderated by Jeffrey Phillips of Dawson Strategic.



Session 3: The Future of Freight

Mike Bains was the first speaker, explaining FortisBC’s Natural Gas for Transportation in BC initiative. A range of incentives and regulations are supporting the development of Natural Gas for Transportation (NGT) in BC, with more than 850 CNG/LNG heavy duty vehicles already in BC. FortisBC has a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) offering, with RNG producing around 90% - 115% reduction in GHG. In 2010 they began injecting RNG into FEI systems; there are 4 projects in operation, with 3 additional projects being planned. Allan Grant from Corvus Energy spoke next. He explained that maritime transport emits over 1000 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, making up 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. NOx, SOx and Particulate Matter (PM) are high in port cities as a result of emissions from ships. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) aims to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008. Ships energy consumption and CO2 could be reduced by 75% with existing technologies but there are challenges associated with putting batteries on ships. Corvus has a leadership position in maritime energy storage solutions, with 173 installations completed, including 135 vessels and 38 Port Cranes. Hans Bleeker from Go99 then took the stage to discuss emissions that result from the trucking industry, and the inefficiencies associated with empty trucking fleets on the road. The Go99 solution is a web and mobile app providing access to a Digital Freight-Matching Marketplace, optimizing efficiency and communication by allowing fleet operators to use available space on empty trucks to be utilized. The use of big data and blockchain is expected to significantly change the trucking industry by 2025.

Session 4: From Pilots to Industry Drivers

The final session of the day, From Pilots to Industry Drivers was moderated by Selina Lee-AndersonPartner at McCarthy Tétrault and looked at current initiatives and looked forward to what’s next in clean transportation. BCSEA’s own Tom Hackney set the stage for the discussion, looking at the 100% Renewable Energy movement and the local municipalities that have adopted 100RE including Vancouver, Victoria, Saanich and Central Saanich. The following speakers then discussed initiatives they have been working on to reach 100RE. Eve Hou educated the audience on four major disruptors to the transportation industry: (i) electrification, (ii) connectivity, (iii) sharing and (iv) automation.  All of these disruptions are coming together as Mobility as a Service (MaaS). This is the idea that people will no longer purchase vehicles, but trips. A number of private sector players are already developing this market – such as MaaS Global – the makers of the Whim, mobility as a service app. Kelly Carmichael explained a research project he has been working on with BCIT demonstrating the ability to charge electric vehicles using spare capacity in municipal street lights after LED upgrades. Kelly discussed some of the challenges but explained that the results would be well worth it - for every 10 streetlights changed to LED, enabled an EV to travel 20 km emission and cost freeKristina Mlakar discussed some of the projects CUTRIC is involved in, the challenges and opportunities they have uncovered, and how to encourage more largescale uptake. Kristina ended the session with an engaging workshop for the audience, posing the question “Which innovative technology will most radically disrupt transportation system in urban and rural settings?”


Read the whole report, including Q&A’s and audience participation sections [Here]. The BCSEA would like to thank the Vancouver Chapter Steering Committee and volunteers, as well as Energy Connections 2018 sponsors BCIT, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Products, Bullfrog Power, HES PV and Greener Print for making this engaging and informative event possible.