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Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Energy and Resource Table – Framework for Collaboration on the Path to Net-Zero

Table of contents

Introduction

Canada has the natural resources, talent, expertise, and technology to be a world-leading clean energy and technology supplier of choice in a net-zero world. Newfoundland and Labrador has an abundance of developed and undeveloped renewable energy resources, as well as experience and expertise in its technology and energy sectors. This positions the province well to meet its net-zero commitments, fight climate change, and to grow clean energy jobs and economic development.

Through the Regional Energy and Resource Tables (Regional Tables), each region of Canada will be better positioned to seize this historic opportunity. The Regional Tables are intended to be a collaborative process that provides a framework for how governments work together, in partnership with Indigenous peoples, to create a prosperous and resilient low-carbon economy.

With the participation of key partners, including labour and industry groups, the Regional Tables seek to pursue the most promising energy and resource opportunities to drive economic growth, accelerate the energy transformation, and support the creation of sustainable jobs in every region across Canada.

Since launching the Regional Table in Newfoundland and Labrador on June 1, 2022, the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador – with the initial and ongoing collaboration of Indigenous partners – has focused on 4 opportunity areas that have the potential to contribute significantly to building or expanding Newfoundland and Labrador’s competitive advantages:

Critical minerals

Wind and hydrogen

Electrification

 

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)

Long-term vision

Newfoundland and Labrador has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. To date, the province has released plans to increase the development and use of its renewable energy resources, as well as legislative actions, programs and initiatives to support and expand both existing and new industries in a net-zero world.

The Regional Table considered at length the significant investments and strategic efforts required of the provincial and federal governments to achieve their shared ambitions, and the need to create a long-term vision that builds an inclusive, low-carbon economy where all residents of the province prosper economically. Indigenous priorities, knowledge and perspectives, including the protection of the environment during the net-zero transition, are critical to the Regional Table’s success.

In May of 2016, Canada committed to implementing and supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) without qualification. While the Regional Tables are not a rights' recognition or a rights’ determining process, they recognize that engagement with Indigenous partners must inform and would enhance its work through to implementation.

Collaboration and engagement are similarly important for businesses to make capital investments in research and development, innovation, and technology adoption. For example, regulatory certainty will accelerate the development and use of the province’s renewable energy resources and critical minerals, in a manner that finds efficiencies without circumventing assessment processes. Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador recognize that they are operating in a highly competitive investment environment and must meet this challenge if they are to capitalize on the province’s natural economic advantages. This must happen while also continuing to understand that the oil and gas sector will remain an important part of the provincial and global economy.

Through this initial phase of this Regional Table, Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador have begun engaging with Indigenous partners and solicited initial input from labour organizations and other stakeholders to develop this Collaboration Framework. It lays the groundwork for an ongoing partnership between governments and Indigenous partners, and more comprehensive engagement with various provincial stakeholders based on the following goals:

  • Advancing opportunities for self-determination and Indigenous economic inclusion in the emerging clean energy and resource sectors.
  • Maximizing Newfoundland and Labrador’s hydro electricity and wind resources for traditional and emerging domestic and export markets (for example, hydrogen and other clean fuels) and services, and contributing to the global energy transition.
  • Sustainably developing the province’s renewable energy and mineral resources to attract investment, create employment, and maximize value throughout the mineral development supply chain.
  • Positioning Newfoundland and Labrador as a leader in the transition to a net-zero future to attract investments and expertise, while being mindful of environmental impacts.
  • Leveraging Newfoundland and Labrador's existing skilled workforce to help transform existing industries and advance new ones.

These goals guide collaboration through this Regional Table and are a central focus of the work taking place through this ongoing initiative.

A series of specific actions under each of the opportunity areas has been jointly developed, to the extent possible, and discussed with Indigenous partners. Initial perspectives were also sought from various experts and stakeholders. This Collaboration Framework reflects foundational efforts to advance transformative work over the course of the next 2 years.

Opportunity areas

Critical minerals

Position Newfoundland and Labrador to realize strategic opportunities in critical minerals throughout the development lifecycle from geoscience to manufacturing, innovation and research and development.

Wind and hydrogen

Position Newfoundland and Labrador to become a clean energy centre of excellence by developing its abundant and high-quality wind resources, creating a clean hydrogen industry, and taking advantage of geographic proximity to markets in the United States and Europe.

Electrification

Increase electrification to maximize value from the province’s surplus renewable energy and displace emissions from fossil fuel use to further contribute to the development of a sustainable economy.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)

Advance CCUS’ potential to enable decarbonization within the province and create new business opportunities that support a trans-boundary approach to a prosperous low-carbon economy.

Critical minerals

Position Newfoundland and Labrador to realize strategic opportunities in critical minerals throughout the development lifecycle from geoscience to manufacturing, innovation and research and development

The transition to a green and digital economy requires minerals for renewable energy and clean technology applications such as batteries, permanent magnets, solar panels and wind turbines. The projected increased demand for many of the minerals to transition to a low-carbon economy is exponential and will require both new supply and new supply chains. For those jurisdictions with critical mineral production and potential, this will be a significant strategic advantage. Without accelerated and increased mineral production, the ability for Canada and the world to transform energy systems to support climate goals will be at risk.

For those with geology favourable to critical mineral deposits, incentives to drive exploration and development have been created to secure critical supplies. Timely, strategic investments, combined with the support of governments, can unlock Newfoundland and Labrador’s critical mineral potential, accelerate development and generate benefits for the province and for Canada as a whole. For example, in June 2023, the Canada Infrastructure Bank announced it will work in complementarity to other federal programming, including Natural Resources Canada’s $1.5 billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund, to support energy and transportation projects needed to unlock priority mineral deposits.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s geology has demonstrated mineral potential for most of Canada’s 31 critical minerals. In addition to existing critical mineral production, the province has a number of projects (for example, rare earth elements, copper, tungsten, molybdenum, uranium, vanadium, zinc and manganese) with advanced economic studies, resource estimates, or in some cases, projects that are already in the impact assessment process. The province has a well-established mining industry with mineral production of between $5 to $6 billion annually. Furthermore, the known critical mineral occurrences in the province indicate that there is long-term mineral potential to provide a pipeline of projects and opportunities to leverage strategic investments for todays and future generations.

In addition, a significant contributor to the province’s mining industry is iron ore. While not at present a designated critical mineral, high-grade, low-impurity iron ore is needed for the clean economy. Clean iron will be required for green steel to produce products (electric vehicles, windmills, etc.) that are needed as part of the green transition. Iron ore mined in the Labrador Trough is high-grade with low impurities and is in increasing demand as it can facilitate reduced greenhouse gas emissions in downstream steel manufacturing. Mining iron ore utilizing renewable energy would further position the region as a strategic source of green steel inputs.

Realizing Newfoundland and Labrador’s full critical minerals potential will require leveraging our strengths and enhancing investment attraction (geoscience, exploration), research and development, downstream processing and manufacturing, infrastructure development (regional) and education and training opportunities. Some Indigenous groups have expressed interest in opportunities pertaining to geoscience and exploration. These opportunities can create avenues for the participation of Indigenous peoples within early stages of mineral development.

There will also be a need for further dialogue with Indigenous groups who, while voicing a recognition of the economic benefits for increased development of the critical minerals sector, have noted the required considerations to land and wildlife, including caribou.

The province has developed a Critical Minerals Plan (PDF, 7.9 MB) to identify opportunities to realize the full value of Newfoundland and Labrador’s critical mineral potential. The Plan identifies strengths that can be leveraged and potential challenges that can be addressed through actions and collaborations with stakeholders and partners. Stakeholder engagement commenced in spring 2023 and the Plan was released in November 2023. This Collaboration Framework will support the province’s Critical Minerals Plan.

Exploring geoscience potential

The geology of Newfoundland and Labrador has demonstrated real potential for critical minerals such as world-class nickel deposits in northern Labrador, over a century of copper mining in central Newfoundland, a fluorspar mining district on the Burin Peninsula and developing rare earth element resources in southeastern Labrador. The full scope of this mineral potential is still to be fully understood as evidenced through the recent discovery of lithium in southwestern Newfoundland. This discovery has resulted in multiple active exploration projects in the area for lithium that until recently would have been unexpected. Even with this potential, vast areas of the province do not have the base-level geoscience required to drive exploration and de-risk investment, especially in more remote locations where exploration costs are higher. Accelerating base-level mapping can drive critical mineral investment. Further geoscience analysis, such as from airborne surveys, is required to support new investments in prospective areas such as northern Labrador, southeast Labrador and the southern coast of Newfoundland.

Indigenous partners have specifically indicated a desire to co-develop areas of priority such as airborne surveys, mapping, and prospecting opportunities. This work will aim to continue and enhance the collaborative efforts underway in this space, including recent geoscience funding announcements from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Examining and applying new and innovative ways to accelerate geoscience collection and convert it into a usable form for industry can help identify and unlock critical mineral potential. New remote sensing and data processing technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, can augment established efforts in public geoscience and help identify potential exploration targets. Strategic investments will be required alongside working with partners. Additionally, ensuring opportunities for Indigenous participation in foundational geoscience will provide more opportunity for inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and economic development in their communities.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Work collaboratively to make strategic geoscience investments in areas with the greatest potential.
  • Work collaboratively to support new and innovative approaches in artificial intelligence and machine learning, for geoscience collection and the interpretation of data to accelerate the identification of exploration targets and investments.

Related initiatives and successes

  • In 2022, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provided an additional almost $1 million for public geoscience targeting Labrador. The geology of Labrador is highly prospective for critical minerals with the area being vastly underexplored.
  • The Government of Canada has committed $79.2 million under the Critical Minerals Geoscience and Data Initiative to enhance the quality and availability of data and digital technologies to support geoscience and mapping that will accelerate the efficient and effective development of Canadian critical mineral value chains, including by identifying critical mineral deposits and developing pathways for sustainable mineral development.

Exploration assistance

The mineral potential of Newfoundland and Labrador and existing support programming help attract exploration investments to the province. Activities by prospectors and junior exploration companies have maintained mining’s significant contribution to both the province and the country. Accelerating this private investment would secure the supply of critical minerals and create competitive advantages for developing supply chains.

There are opportunities to invest through existing programming mechanisms to drive critical mineral exploration and support the development of new supply chains.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Enhance exploration assistance programming for critical minerals to address specific challenges.
  • Engage with Indigenous communities to identify and address challenges that may limit participation in critical mineral prospecting and exploration.

Related initiatives and successes

  • In 2022, The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided $5.2 million over 3 years to support the provincial government deliver 2 critical mineral initiatives focused on geoscience and exploration activities. Newfoundland and Labrador also confirmed a $4.6 million contribution through its existing Junior Exploration Assistance (JEA) program and in-kind supports over 3 years. This funding supports Newfoundland and Labrador’s geophysical survey program and focused assistance from JEA for projects exploring critical minerals.
  • In 2022, the Government of Canada introduced a new 30% Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit to enable the exploration of critical minerals and support specified exploration expenditures incurred in Canada. This tax credit is applicable to specific critical minerals including nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, rare earth elements, vanadium, and uranium, among others.

Priority research, development and innovation

Many critical minerals have not been the focus of past exploration and mining activities or they have only been mined as a biproduct of other extraction efforts. Obtaining the full value of these critical minerals has been further impeded by low recovery levels, a lack of viable processing technology and even their disposal in waste streams. Strengthening research and development capacity in the province would help address these challenges and result in significant economic benefits. Newfoundland and Labrador has a strong base from which to build this expertise. Educational institutions such as Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic have extensive experience in critical mineral ore characterization, process optimization, mine waste, and hyperspectral scanning and analysis.

Expanding this institutional research and development capacity in the province is necessary and can be achieved through collaboration between the federal government, the province and Indigenous partners.

There is also an opportunity to strengthen partnerships with industry, academia and federal mining research and development infrastructure to build institutional research and development capacity across the full value chain.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Work collaboratively to provide necessary funding and supports to enhance research and development capacity related to critical minerals and associated value chains in the province.
  • Work with industry and academia partners to maximize existing and new research and development capacity to create a research hub to advance the production of critical minerals.

Related initiatives and successes

  • The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided $1.25 million to Tacora Resources Inc. to evaluate the feasibility of applying mineral processing technology at a proposed plant near the Scully Mine site in Wabush to process manganese, 1 of Canada’s 31 critical minerals.

Value chain assessment and maximization

The transition to net-zero will increase demand for critical minerals and require new supply chains that will create downstream opportunities. Those jurisdictions with a secure supply of critical minerals will have a strategic advantage through supply-chain integration.

The Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Voisey’s Bay mine and Long Harbour hydrometallurgical nickel processing plant demonstrate the potential for processing opportunities tied to mine supply. This model of leveraging an economic mineral deposit to support downstream investments – combined with access to clean grid power – has resulted in certified low-carbon finished nickel production in the province.

To realize the full value of the province’s critical minerals, Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada will determine where the greatest opportunities lie, identify the barriers and required actions, develop strategic partnerships and facilitate investments as warranted by the economics of current research and individual business cases.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Jointly determine where supports are needed to accelerate the commercialization of critical mineral projects including extraction, processing and manufacturing opportunities.
  • Assess advanced-stage projects for downstream processing potential in the province, including regulatory, technical and environmental considerations and identify necessary actions.
  • Work collaboratively to support investments to accelerate viable processing and manufacturing-based projects.

Related initiatives and successes

  • The Government of Canada’s new Investment Tax Credit for Clean Technology Manufacturing aimed at spurring the expansion of mining and processing of critical minerals in Canada will be available to qualifying projects.
  • Through Budget 2022, the Government of Canada has proposed $1.5 billion in targeted funds available through the Strategic Innovation Fund aimed at accelerating investments in critical minerals projects. The fund will support critical mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling, as well as mining projects that show exceptional innovation benefits and strong vertical integration to grow domestic value chains.

Strategic infrastructure

Most mining and industrial development projects require large investments with high risks and slow returns. For example, it can take anywhere from 5 to 25 years for a mining project to become operational, with no revenue flows until production starts.

Newfoundland and Labrador has regions with exceptional critical mineral potential without developed accessible renewable energy and little transportation infrastructure. These challenges can deter or delay promising projects. Evaluating and executing investment opportunities in strategic infrastructure have the potential to accelerate critical mineral development.

Planning is currently ongoing to assess the province’s Labrador West electrification needs. This region has significant critical mineral potential and produces high quality iron ore that results in lower emissions in downstream steel manufacturing. Opportunities exist for onsite greenhouse gas emissions reductions through clean power if available and would further solidify the region’s competitive advantage. These projects may require new transmission infrastructure to access Labrador hydropower. If new transmission infrastructure is required, the work will be advanced through meaningful consultation with Indigenous Organizations whose settled or asserted rights may be adversely impacted. The projected increased demand for critical minerals combined with efforts for mining developments to transition to net-zero emissions result in a need to ensure access to clean power, including for remote mines.

Gaps in terms of infrastructure (for example, road and port), can limit resource development. The province, supported by funds from Transport Canada, is studying the viability of constructing a road to the North Coast of Labrador from Happy Valley Goose Bay to Nain, and is consulting with Indigenous groups as part of this work. Investments in strategic infrastructure can unlock the potential for project development, community benefits, and be a significant enabler to exploration and possible future development in the region.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Work with the province to support strategic infrastructure development in regions of high critical mineral potential and where multi-user facilities support and accelerate critical mineral development.
  • Undertake, and where possible, accelerate assessment of infrastructure gaps in identified areas of interest, including pre-feasibility work that would include the necessary road, port and rail transport connections, transmission/generation, and other green power for mining.

Related initiatives and successes

  • In 2024, the Government of Canada awarded $18.1 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund to Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Company of Canada to support the decarbonization of iron ore processing at its operations in Labrador West.
  • Through Budget 2023, the Government of Canada established a $1.5 billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund, managed by Natural Resources Canada, towards energy and transportation projects to unlock priority mineral deposits.
  • The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) Critical Minerals Investments will facilitate the construction of enabling and supporting infrastructure like access roads, clean power generation and transmission along with wastewater management facilities in remote areas of Canada. The CIB will target investments of at least $100 million, except those projects owned by Indigenous communities and will work in complementarity to other federal programming, including Natural Resources Canada’s $1.5 billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund.

Wind and hydrogen

Enhancing Newfoundland and Labrador’s position as a clean energy centre of excellence by developing its abundant and high-quality wind resources, creating a clean hydrogen industry, and taking advantage of geographic proximity to markets in the United States and Europe

Newfoundland and Labrador has a wealth of resources that will position it well to produce and export green hydrogen and ammonia. These advantages include: the highest and most consistent wind speeds in North America to support wind-generated electricity, approximately 350,000 square kilometers of sparsely populated Crown lands for development; and a readily available supply of fresh water. In addition, the province is ideally located along transcontinental shipping lanes. Currently, over 90% of the province’s electricity is generated from renewable energy resources. It is estimated that with the completion of the province’s most recent hydroelectric project, it will result in 3.2 terawatt hours of energy per year in surplus of the province’s current electricity needs, which will be available primarily during summer months.

In addition to using transmission lines to export renewable electricity resources, another new export opportunity is using renewable energy, such as wind, to create other products such as green hydrogen and ammonia, which can be exported via ship to meet the increasing global demand for low-carbon fuels. There are opportunities to export clean hydrogen to replace current fossil fuel generated hydrogen (for example, in oil refining and the production of fertilizers), as well as in new and developing hydrogen markets, including fuel for vehicles, low-carbon heating systems and power applications, and energy storage.

According to one study, the development of a hydrogen-producing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador could lead to a sector valued at $11 billion per year by 2050, although further work is needed to confirm the economic potential.

Recognizing the economic development opportunities related to the province’s renewable energy resources and its competitive advantages, Newfoundland and Labrador released a Renewable Energy Plan to ensure that its renewable energy resources are developed and used in a manner that maximizes benefits to the people of the province. In 2022, it also launched an ambitious Crown Lands Nomination and Bid Process for Wind Energy Projects to ensure a fair and transparent process for the development of the province’s onshore wind resources, including for the export of clean hydrogen and ammonia production.

As well, in August 2023, the province announced the completion of the call for bids for wind-hydrogen development in the province. As a result of this process, EverWind NL Company, Exploits Valley Renewable Energy Corporation, Toqlukuti’k Wind and Hydrogen Ltd., and World Energy GH2 Inc. received Wind Application Recommendation Letters, which gives them the right to pursue the development of their project and can proceed through the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown land application and approval process. Provincial environmental assessment registration is required prior to final award of Crown land and an environmental assessment will be required for each of these 4 projects.

These efforts and the province’s promising potential have attracted global attention. Examples include the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance that was signed in Stephenville in 2022, as well as the province’s Letter of Intent signed with the City of Hamburg in 2022 and its Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2023. Each agreement is aimed at facilitating the development of clean hydrogen in Newfoundland and Labrador to supply European markets. There has also been interest from some Indigenous groups in partnering with green hydrogen projects in the province.

Finally, the province is pursuing an ambitious agenda to establish a competitive offshore wind energy industry to support its goals for renewable energy development.

Resources and infrastructure mapping

Building on the province’s current work, there is potential to expand the mapping of renewable energy resources (including hydro, wind, biomass, and solar) and add key data central to project decisions, such as ports and export facilities, access points to fresh water, and Crown lands subject to the wind-energy Crown lands bidding and other Crown lands and environmental assessment processes. This work would support the sustainable development of these resources and enhance the attractiveness of the province for sectors such as hydrogen, as well as support government and investor decision-making. The ongoing work will provide a more granular picture of the opportunities and gaps in the province’s energy system and allow cross-references to favourable conditions to sustainably maximize the resources.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Newfoundland and Labrador, local utilities and Natural Resources Canada (as well as other federal partners) will collaborate to gather data on ports and export facilities, access points to fresh water, and Crown lands, as well as other potential information. This data should be available on one interactive tool, updated regularly, and based on existing datasets.

Onshore wind

Newfoundland and Labrador has significant untapped potential to expand its production of renewable energy for domestic use, and to export any surplus to its Atlantic neighbours and the eastern United States seaboard (via traditional transmission lines and the shipping of clean hydrogen and ammonia.) Doing so would enhance the province’s status as a centre of excellence and demonstrate leadership, while creating new jobs and economic growth. To accelerate the opportunities, the federal and provincial governments must facilitate onshore wind projects through collaborative work in their respective areas of authority.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Work collaboratively to identify knowledge, regulatory, and funding gaps and barriers, and to foster engagement.

Related initiatives and successes

  • Natural Resources Canada provided $1.43 million through the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships Program to support partnerships between the Miawpukek First Nation and industry for wind and hydrogen developments that will promote greater participation in the natural resource sectors and contribute to the economic self-sufficiency of the community. The project will also support the Canada-Europe relationship by advancing clean energy export opportunities between the 2 continents.

Offshore wind

The legislative proposal to expand the mandate of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to include the regulation of offshore renewables, including wind, under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act is in progress.

As well, Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador launched a Regional Assessment for Offshore Wind Development in March 2023. Led by a 5-person independent committee – in coordination with the Government of Canada (Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and Natural Resources Canada) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador – the Regional Assessment will help inform the identification of suitable areas for offshore Calls for Bids. It will also identify potential adverse effects, as well as any required mitigation and follow-up measures, for federal impact assessments of specific future offshore wind projects.

Recognizing the significant role of the commercial fisheries as a key economic driver for many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, it will be important that there is consideration given to the potential impacts that offshore wind development could have on this industry.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Work with the provincial government to modernize the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and expand its mandate to include the regulation of offshore renewable energy projects in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador joint management area.
  • Advance opportunities to accelerate the review process for offshore wind projects through such measures as regional assessments, and data collection to inform project regulatory reviews.
  • Examine macro economic and supply chain modelling analysis for offshore wind and support studies on provincial supply chain and workforce priorities.

Related initiatives and successes

  • Through Budget 2023 the Government of Canada has proposed to provide funding to Natural Resources Canada to create new investments in science-based activities to help capitalize on Canada's offshore wind potential, particularly off the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Canada and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador on offshore wind to enable Newfoundland and Labrador to take the regulatory lead on offshore wind projects within its inland bays to enable the development of offshore wind projects in Newfoundland that will power Newfoundland’s economy forward.
  • The Government of Canada introduced Bill C-49 to amend the Atlantic Accords Acts to regulate offshore wind energy projects in Atlantic Canada to establish a framework for the development and regulation of offshore renewable energy projects in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore areas. Bill C-49 is an ambitious effort to modernize the regulation of offshore energy resources. By establishing a unified federal-provincial regulatory framework and introducing new environmental safeguards, the bill aims to promote sustainable development, enhance cooperation, and ensure the responsible and efficient management of resources.

Hydrogen development

Globally, countries and industries are seeking opportunities to support clean growth in sectors where it is technically challenging or expensive to use renewable electricity. Increasingly, one solution is to rely on clean hydrogen and ammonia produced from electrolysis that uses renewable power. Newfoundland and Labrador is well-positioned to seize this opportunity. The federal and provincial governments will work to continue to enhance Newfoundland and Labrador’s ability to determine hydrogen opportunities that provide the highest, long-term benefit for residents.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Leverage the federal government’s analytical and technical capacity and jointly assess where appropriate the development of a hydrogen industry that benefits the province, the region and Canada.
  • Develop an investment package to attract potential project proponents. This package could include current federal and provincial policies and incentives to support a hydrogen industry and the unique advantages offered by investing in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Work collaboratively to evaluate the technical, economic, and financial feasibility of hydrogen projects, determine their potential impact for growth and job creation, and develop best practices to maximize their benefits.
  • Assess existing infrastructure and transportation gaps (for example, connection to the grid and harbour facilities) and determine potential provincial and federal levers, such as the Canada Infrastructure Bank, to address these gaps.
  • Map policy and regulatory barriers.
  • Assess needs for a competitive Newfoundland and Labrador hydrogen sector (including the impact of Investment Tax Credit for hydrogen from onshore wind energy). This work would include identifying potential incentives and program supports and assessing the opportunity to develop niche hydrogen supply chain components (including aviation fuels production).
  • Collaborate on hydrogen codes and standards to foster predictability, certainty, and alignment with key export markets.

Related initiatives and successes

  • Export Development Canada, on behalf of the Government of Canada will provide World Energy GH2 with a $128 million credit facility to support the development of Project Nujio’qonik, Canada’s first commercial-scale green hydrogen and ammonia facility located on the west coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Government of Canada’s new Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credit will be available to qualifying projects which meet the carbon intensity-dependent credit values of between 15% and 40% of eligible capital expenses.
  • Natural Resources Canada provided $150,000 to econext to promote greater awareness of clean fuels and clean fuels technologies across all industries, commercial applications, and the general public in Canada.

Related initiatives and successes—Clean fuels

  • Federal investments from the Strategic Innovation Fund (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) and the Clean Fuels Fund (Natural Resources Canada), are providing $86.8 million to the Braya Renewable Fuels refinery in Come By Chance to support conversion of refinery operations. The Braya Renewable Fuels refinery is being repurposed to convert it into a renewable fuel production facility.

Electrification

Increase electrification to maximize value from the province’s surplus renewable energy and displace emissions from fossil fuel use to further contribute to the development of a sustainable economy

Electricity will play a critical role in Canada’s economic and energy transformation. A low-carbon economy depends not only on a low-carbon electric grid, but also on the electrification of major carbon-emitting sectors, including transport, industry, and buildings. Consequently, it is anticipated that demand for clean electricity will expand significantly.

Newfoundland and Labrador has an abundance of renewable energy resources – with over 90% of the province’s electricity generated from renewable energy resources. This access to clean energy positions the province well to meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 while driving economic growth and creating clean energy jobs. The province’s Renewable Energy Plan, released December 2021, lays out the opportunity and includes short-, medium- and long-term actions for electrification. Key considerations for electrification initiatives include load management (in particular the ability to shift and actively manage electric load in winter peak periods) and tangibly demonstrating customer and system benefits.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Interconnected Electricity System serves 98% of the provincial utilities’ customers. However, there are 20 electricity-isolated diesel-powered systems that are not connected to each other or to the interconnected electricity systems, totaling approximately 34 megawatts of electricity. These are located in remote coastal communities in the province. The Labrador Interconnection Options Study, completed by external consultant Hatch, on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro in 2020, explored options to reduce diesel dependency in these communities and confirmed that the lowest-cost option combined new wind-generation and battery storage with existing diesel use in each system. Further integration of renewable energy into these systems in the future could create more sustainable electrification opportunities.

Electric vehicles

The transportation sector accounts for 42% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Newfoundland and Labrador lags significantly behind other Canadian provinces. In 2022, only 4.4% of new vehicles registered in the province were hybrid and electric.

Current assessments show there is potential for cost-effective electrification of transportation. Light duty vehicles (LDVs) make up 90% of the vehicles on the road in the province, and 89% of these LDVs are passenger and personal-use vehicles. The remainder are used in commercial and institutional fleets.

Barriers to the adoption of EVs can be removed. These barriers include concerns about access to charging infrastructure, upfront capital costs (which are typically higher than conventional vehicles), public perception of EVs and long waiting lists to buy new EVs. As well, during engagement with Indigenous partners it was noted that there is a need to overcome barriers to purchasing, charging, and driving EVs in some Indigenous communities, given the far distance needed to travel to get to the nearest charging station.

At the same time, federal sales targets for new zero-emission vehicles will increase demand on the provincial grids. It is important to prepare the system for this increased load. Managed charging programs offer an opportunity to alleviate peak impacts.

While Newfoundland Power already uses meters capable of automated meter reading (AMR meters), Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters would allow for more frequent usage reporting and provide several customer benefits including enabling demand management initiatives, improve performance and lower costs for other demand management initiatives. Dynamic rates, such as time-of-use rates or critical peak pricing, are an example of a demand management program that could be deployed using AMI.

Based on a preliminary cost-benefit analysis, Newfoundland Power estimates that approximately $140 million would be necessary to install AMI technology. Newfoundland Power notes it is estimated that the upgrade could provide
$75 million in benefits, therefore approximately $65 million to $75 million would be needed to support the project as costs outweigh the benefits from a utility perspective. Newfoundland Power also notes that further analysis of costs and benefits, which could include other operational costs and benefits, would be required before an AMI project moves forward.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Accelerate adoption of LDV EVs via investments that complement existing programs and target gaps in the following areas:
    • Work collaboratively to maintain or expand funding for EV purchase rebates.
    • Continue the work done under the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure program (ZEVIP) to increase access to chargers including public charging infrastructure and charging infrastructure within Indigenous communities and reserves; and rebates for home charging, as well as training for service technicians.
    • Address supply issues, including a proportionate number of zero EVs in the province to meet future federal sales targets.
    • Support EV awareness and education for residential and commercial customers.
    • Support the development of a pilot program to assess approaches to control the demand impacts of EVs. Results of this pilot program will inform future demand management activities.
  • Identify how government can assist and support utilities in the long-term transition to AMI.
  • Explore opportunities for the adoption of EVs in remote communities while recognizing the limits of current diesel generation systems.

Related initiatives and successes

  • In 2022, Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program announced a $805,000 investment to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to help support the installation of up to 113 EV chargers across the province. As well, through Budget 2023, the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government invested $3 million to support the transition to EVs. This follows funding in previous years to encourage the adoption of EVs through funding for rebates, charging stations, and education and awareness campaigns.

Medium and heavy-duty vehicles electric vehicles

Currently, about 10% of vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador are medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), of which medium-duty vehicles (MDVs) account for the vast majority (83%). There remains limited uptake within this segment. EVs in the MDV, HDV and buses category hold great potential for emissions reductions, but they also face unique barriers – including affordability, servicing, charging requirements and model availability. MHDVs are generally more sensitive to economics and therefore electrification of these vehicle classes require substantial support in the form of incentives or changes in market economic factors. Consumer education – regarding peak demand, charging and billing – is a key consideration for commercial customers.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Work collaboratively on a pilot program to accelerate the adoption of electric MDVs, HDVs and buses for commercial, municipal and provincial fleets. This could include public transportation (Metrobus), coach buses, school buses, cargo and delivery, agricultural, construction and heavy equipment.
  • Explore and accelerate funding for MHDV fleet chargers and training for MHDV fleet service technicians.
  • Identify opportunities to address supply issues for MHDVs.
  • Support MHDV EV awareness and education.

Oil-fueled space heating

The majority of homes in Newfoundland and Labrador use electricity for their space-heating needs; however, approximately 40,000 homes in the province rely on fuel oil for heat. There are barriers to switching these homes to electric space heating, including the high cost of conversion. Assessments show that significant incentives will be required – along with enabling strategies – to help reduce the cost of converting oil furnaces to electric heat. Additionally, the users of home heating oil tend to be older, live in rural areas and have lower incomes than the provincial average.

Conversions from oil to electric heat will add additional load to the system, which will need to be managed, particularly around winter peak. Technologies exist that can assist such as Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) units or other new technologies. While ETS technology is good for peak reduction, the costs and other barriers make many customers reluctant to switch.

For remote communities that rely on diesel-powered systems, there may be opportunities to use high efficiency heating, wood heat and energy efficiency actions to decrease usage of fossil fuels.

There are also some manufactures and small- and medium-sized enterprises that use fossil fuel heat. Programs and funding to date have largely focused on conversion of space heating in homes or public buildings. While there are some avenues to fuel switching through more general funding programs, there are also opportunities to consider incentives targeting manufacturers and small- and medium-sized organizations.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Identify ways, including through increased funding, for residential oil-heat to high efficiency electric heating conversions, including upfront funding for low-income households.
  • Work collaboratively on load management for space heating including:
    • pilot programs to support technologies;
    • demand side management; and
    • energy efficiency activities.
  • Work collaboratively on a range of tools, including funding, to:
    • increase uptake of high efficiency heating options (such as woodstoves and heat pumps) and energy efficiency in remote communities.
    • convert non-residential oil heat to high efficiency electric heating directed at manufacturers and small and medium-sized enterprises; and
    • identify options to support high efficiency electric heating, such as heat pumps, for new builds.

Related initiatives and successes

  • In 2023, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada, announced just over $157 million towards the implementation of new fuel switching and energy efficiency incentive programs over the next 4 fiscal years – with $102 million to be invested in residential fuel switching and the remaining $55 million to be invested in other greenhouse gas reduction activities across all sectors of the economy. The Oil to Electric Incentive Program, supported by the federal Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, which was strengthened in December 2023, to provide incentives for technologies, including mini splits, multi splits, central heat pumps, electric furnaces and electric boilers, with rebate amounts of up to $22,000 for low-to-medium-income households to increase affordability.
  • Natural Resources Canada provided $215,000 through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative for a pilot project to generate employment, promote increased biomass usage and reduce reliance on diesel for remote NunatuKavut Community Council communities.
  • Natural Resources Canada, Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Dalhousie University provided $163,000 to the NunatuKavut Community Council through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative to advance the development of Indigenous-led forestry initiatives in Labrador, providing equipment and training for processing firewood to promote increased biomass usage and reduce reliance on diesel fuel for heating.
  • To support and accelerate clean electricity investment in Canada, Budget 2023 proposes to introduce a 15% refundable tax credit for eligible investments in non-emitting electricity generation systems, abated natural gas-fired electricity generation, stationary electricity storage systems, and equipment for the transmission of electricity between provinces and territories. By extending support to a broad base of clean electricity technologies and proponents, we can accelerate the investments needed to deliver more sustainable, more secure, and more affordable electricity across Newfoundland and Labrador.

Port and marine electrification

More than half of Canada’s $30 billion ocean economy (and 350,000 jobs) is in Atlantic Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador is the largest ocean economy in Canada. In both the public and private sectors, there are many diverse industries that require the use of ships including marine transportation, offshore oil and gas, defence and security, fisheries and aquaculture, and tourism. Many types of ships use the province’s various ports, including fishing vessels, large-scale shipping vessels, ferries, offshore energy supply and service ships, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary marine units, and cruise ships and other tourist vessels.

Many ships idle their engines to maintain on-board power while in port. Port-side electrification allows ships to connect to the grid while in port and make use of land-based electricity, but it is not widely available in the province. The Port of St. John’s, for example, offers an array of shore-power systems throughout its facilities to accommodate those vessels that choose to make use of land-based electricity.

Vessel electrification is another opportunity to reduce emissions in the marine sector. There are technologies to electrify vessel engines that include hybrid diesel electric propulsion, battery electric propulsion systems, and fully electric vessels. Longer-term, there are opportunities for the adoption of alternative fuels for marine transportation such as ammonia and hydrogen.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Undertake a feasibility study on port and vessel electrification. The feasibility study would include examining electricity system impacts and opportunities (including in remote communities) and determining investments needed to advance electrification in the marine sector. An action plan will be developed based on findings of the feasibility study.

Mines and heavy industry electrification

The expansion of heavy industry – such as mining in Labrador West – is a significant opportunity in Newfoundland and Labrador. While the province’s mines use hydroelectricity, there is significant load growth potential from converting some of the remaining industrial diesel fuel processes to electricity, as well as from mining activity expansion. Some Indigenous groups have indicated a desire for further discussion on the electrification of mines that support responsible and sustainable mining practices with respect to impacts on land and wildlife. Both governments are making investments in this area, including most recently in federal Budget 2023, where the Government of Canada proposed a new Investment Tax Credit for Clean Electricity, projected to cost $25.7 billion until 2034-35, as well as approximately $3 billion in funding over 13 years to recapitalize the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program, renew the Smart Grid program, and invest in science-based activities to support clean electricity and accelerate investments needed to expand the capacity of Canada’s clean electricity grid. Given the magnitude of energy requirements in the Labrador West mining industry, there are also transmission and generation system constraints to consider, which the province’s crown electric utility, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, has initiated. In its Reliability and Resource Adequacy (RRA) study, which is currently under consideration by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has presented 2 cases for load growth in Labrador. The base forecast reflects existing requirements and industrial loads. The other is a high-growth case and includes additional load requirements for industrial electrification/expansion and other firm requirements.

Regardless of transmission options being studied and surplus clean energy produced annually, it will likely be necessary to secure additional clean generating capacity to meet the growing peak demand needs of industry in Labrador West. In fact, the RRA study forecasts that the province could be in a capacity shortfall by 2030. The goal of the provincial government is to support electrification while recognizing that new generation must be clean and economically competitive. New capacity options include: an eighth generating unit at the Bay d’Espoir hydroelectric generating facility; small hydroelectric facilities; upgrades at the Churchill Falls hydroelectric facility; and large hydroelectric development, such as at Gull Island.

While any of these electrification solutions would support industrial expansion and help achieve Canada’s net-zero goals by reducing diesel usage, they are costly initiatives that will likely require government supports to ensure they advance.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Identify how federal tools and programming can assist to advance electrification and the sustainable expansion of existing mines and the development of new ones.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)

Advance CCUS’ potential to enable decarbonization within the province and create new business opportunities that support a trans-boundary approach to a prosperous low-carbon economy

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) represents a potentially strategic opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador to reduce its industrial emissions (for example, oil and gas production) in the near-term and support significant economic growth and climate action over the longer-term (for example, carbon dioxide removal powered by Newfoundland and Labrador’s renewables).

For example, there may be substantial capacity to store carbon dioxide (CO2) offshore, as the subsea geologic data suggests a potential world-class storage resource. Further assessment is required and may help to spur new interest and investments in the emerging industry. Some players from outside the province have even inquired about CCUS opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, legislative changes and regulatory development are necessary before CO2 can be injected for permanent storage in the province (CCUS is currently only permitted with existing projects where CO2 is used to enhance oil recovery, and it is regulated under existing oil and gas regulations).

While the province is geographically distant from most major greenhouse gas emitters, exploring the concept of a hub, similar to that being built in the North Sea by Norway, the UK and the Netherlands to service Europe, presented an interesting opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador given that the province’s storage capacity and opportunities could be significant.

The province’s offshore petroleum industry’s expertise, as well as its related infrastructure, could provide a foundation for supporting the emergence of a CCUS industry. The industry has already developed an extensive database of offshore seismic data, which could serve as the basis for identifying and assessing potential reservoirs.

Industry and academia have also been conducting studies focused on CO2 storage and potential applications in the province. Since many CCUS technologies require further research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) before they are ready for commercial adoption, growing the CCUS RD&D capacity could bring numerous benefits to the provincial economy including high value employment.

Offshore modular CO2 capture technology is one option, but its development has lagged behind onshore CCUS technologies and would likely come with its own unique challenges in a harsh environment such as the North Atlantic; however, solving these barriers could provide longer-term opportunities to export this technology to other countries with offshore storage capacity and help position the province (and Canada) as a clean energy technology provider of choice.

CCUS technologies can also help drive other opportunities for a net-zero future, such as the low-carbon production of hydrogen and ammonia, direct-air-capture (DAC)-to-fuels, or DAC-to-storage. There is also high potential for enhanced mineralization to support CO2 removal. Future generations could see projects that use DAC technologies to ‘filter’ CO2 from the atmosphere and then either permanently store the CO2 or use it in various processes and products, such as low-carbon synthetic fuels. Canadian technology firms have already expressed interest in developing a DAC-to-Fuels project in the province.

In October 2023, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the $6 million CCUS Innovation Challenge which will provide financial support to businesses, organizations, and post-secondary institutions to complete research and development (R&D) projects into the feasibility of CCUS in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore. The program will de-risk investment into the commercial and non-commercial R&D activities required to evaluate CCUS and advance the understanding of the potential opportunity for the province.

To further advance CCUS in Newfoundland and Labrador, more work is needed to determine the market opportunities, the human resource (skills and labour) and infrastructure requirements, the potential for Indigenous participation, and the level of public support and confidence.

CCUS vision and roadmap

A vision for CCUS opportunities, both in the near and long term, will be developed by the provincial government, with support from Natural Resources Canada. Articulating a high-level vision and roadmap will help to focus supports both in terms of accelerating RD&D and enabling deployment of CCUS technologies. Articulating a vision will also help to raise awareness about CCUS opportunities and barriers, while a high-level roadmap will help to determine where early attention is needed and the players required to ensure the responsible, efficient, and beneficial development of CCUS.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Develop a draft vision to socialize CCUS opportunities and gather perspectives to help shape a final vision for Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Advance a roadmap that identifies and prioritizes gaps that need to be addressed and actions taken to help advance the provincial vision for CCUS technologies, including ensuring that the impact on the environment and Indigenous communities is considered.

Storage potential capacity, infrastructure and transport

Newfoundland and Labrador is thought to have world class storage potential, with offshore continental margins that could provide gigaton-scale CO2 storage; however, more research and analysis is needed to confirm storage capacity. Additional research is also needed to better understand the technical barriers of CCUS projects in offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, and to determine the best options for transportation and other supporting infrastructure.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Consolidate knowledge of locations with CO2 storage potential and identify and address data gaps as they relate to various storage basins (Jeanne d’Arc, Orphan Basin, Flemish Pass).
  • Evaluate which storage locations and what transportation infrastructure are most suitable, including which method of transportation (ports, pipelines, platforms, etc.).

Related initiatives and successes

  • As part of Budget 2021, Government of Canada is investing $319 million over 7 years into research, development, and demonstrations to advance the commercial viability of CCUS technologies. The CCUS research, development and demonstration call for storage and transportation will fund projects which characterize and develop safe, permanent subsurface CO2 storage, and technologies that support safe and efficient transportation of CO2 and storage opportunities across Canada. These funds will support businesses, academia, non-profits, government, and federal laboratories on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Techno-economic assessments and longer-term market opportunities

Newfoundland and Labrador could serve as a regional CO2 storage hub for the Atlantic provinces, as well as facilities in Ontario and Quebec that may be contemplating CO2 capture projects but lack suitable storage reservoirs nearby. The province may also serve international needs if CO2 storage capacity is as significant as anticipated, and transportation is economically viable. Techno-economic and life cycle assessments and market analysis can help identify potential CCUS opportunities within the province and beyond as new low-carbon policies develop to meet 2050 targets. This will help to advance and adjust the vision established earlier in the process to inform CCUS project and hub development.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Assess market opportunities for CCUS enabled-products, CO2 removal, and imports.
  • Evaluate opportunities for regional or international sources of CO2 to be imported, and further techno-economic assessments focused around key CCUS market opportunities.

Regulatory frameworks and permitting

The path forward for CCUS regulatory framework development is under consideration. The federal government is evaluating legislative changes needed to enable the development of an offshore regulatory regime for CCUS. There is added urgency in this area due in part to the size of the opportunity presented and the increasing global competition in the CCUS space, all of which is compounded by the relatively recent emergence of CCUS as a provincial priority and the anticipated timelines required for regulatory approvals. Furthermore, for the CCUS projects in the province to be able to benefit from the new federal CCUS Investment Tax Credit, it is important that regulations are in place within certain timelines as tax credit rates are higher this decade compared to 2030-2040 (designed to incentivize early action).

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Work together to accelerate legislative changes and regulatory developments/amendments required – both at the federal and provincial levels as needed – to address CCUS permitting, operations, monitoring, and post-closure requirements including ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the formation and addressing potential leaks in infrastructure. Regulations will be developed with considerations to best practices by collaborating with other regulators through networks such as the International Regulator’s Forum.

Sustainable jobs

To ensure a prosperous net-zero future where the notion of environmental protection is prioritized, governments will have to make sure their workforces keep pace with the changing nature of the labour market and the variety of new skills that could be in demand.

Job security and wages are paramount considerations when workers are looking to make the transition by re-skilling and re-training. Other factors workers may consider include how long their new training will take, the educational prerequisites that could be asked of them, or where they are in their career. Another key consideration is whether the re-skilling and re-training can take place close to home, and meet the needs of small communities, including in rural settings, that are historically dependent on single industries.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil and gas and mining sector already have a skilled workforce well suited for the energy transition. By example, workers in as many as 70 occupations in the oil and gas sector (including electrical engineers, heavy equipment operators, facility operations and maintenance managers, investment relations professionals, warehouse technicians, and logistics coordinators) have some level of transferrable skills to carbon capture and clean energy industries such as hydrogen, wind, solar, and geothermal.

It should be noted that the advancement of sustainable jobs linked to the transition to a low-carbon economy presents opportunities for the participation of historically under-represented groups in this sector, including Indigenous peoples. Governments must work together to support skills-building and retraining related to emerging job opportunities for Indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups.

Employer-funded skills training, financial supports for worker retraining, and the availability of jobs with similar skill sets and levels, are among the strategies that could help address the challenges of building a workforce for our net-zero future. The precise nature of these skills and the demand for them will depend on the transition paths that Canada takes.

There are several national projections for Canada’s workforce needs in a low-carbon economy. With such projections and analyses, there are opportunities to advance work at the provincial level. Where localized information does exist, it tends to combine Newfoundland and Labrador with the rest of Atlantic Canada. A knowledge of the magnitude and opportunities related to specific projects, as well as their timelines, is also required to project labour force needs.

Initial work through the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Table has confirmed a pressing need to better understand the skills and workforce required to advance the province’s opportunity areas and the 2 levels of government have identified a number of areas for immediate collaboration.

For example, like other eastern provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador faces an aging demographic as well as a shortage of workers in some sectors. The province has increased newcomer attraction and recruitment efforts to the province, which are supporting positive labour market impacts. Certain sectors profiled in this Collaboration Framework are already facing a skills gap, including the province’s mining industry, which has warned of the need to build training capacity in a variety of mining-related skills and trades. Other opportunity areas, such as CCUS and electrification, may not require large increases in the overall labour force, but may need new skills and certifications for the current workforce to transition to their new jobs. For example, maintaining/installing electric heat pumps will differ from maintaining and installing oil furnaces, and transporting hydrogen will require new skills/certifications for drivers currently delivering home heating oil.

The province has recently provided financial support to the College of the North Atlantic to assist in developing programming to develop, pilot and evaluate specialized training to ensure the province’s workforce has the skills and training needed to support an increase in EVs in Newfoundland and Labrador. This includes training for current Automotive Service Technician Journeypersons to gain an understanding of EV maintenance; training for electricians to gain skills in installing and maintaining EV charging stations (residential and commercial); training on appropriate disposal methods (recycling) of related materials; and training for First Responders when encountering EV accidents.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has further committed to supporting training and jobs for the renewable energy sector, including through the release of the Renewable Energy Plan, and the Green Transition Fund. This is complemented by new training programs supporting emerging skills requirements, as well as working with sector groups, such as econext, to identify workforce capacity gaps and training needs, create a greater awareness of job opportunities and requirements, as well as support attraction and recruitment initiatives. All of this will help government departments and other key partners (including employers, unions and schools) to better understand and plan for the changing face of Newfoundland and Labrador’s labour market.

Focused collaboration in the short term

  • Develop a labour market plan to support the priorities identified in the Regional Table. This plan should include projections of Newfoundland and Labrador’s labour force in the medium to long-term, as well as analysis of workforce availability, skills gap and suitability, future opportunities, risks and barriers, and participation of under-represented groups and Indigenous Peoples. Engagement between the federal government and provincial government, including pertaining to funding provided to support sustainable and renewable energy and critical mineral employment and training programming and supports, will help advance efforts to meet current and emerging needs.

Related initiatives and successes

  • Natural Resources Canada provided $708,000 through the Youth Energy Training Initiative (YETI) to empower Inuit youth to steer sustainable energy transitions in their own communities via formal educational, training and subsequent employment opportunities. This project will provide training opportunities to ensure that Inuit are the principal beneficiaries of policies, projects, and programs implemented under the Nunatsiavut Government’s Energy Security Plan.
  • In 2023, through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, the Government of Canada provided $27.1 million to TechNL for its Strengthening the NL Workforce: A Technology Training and Upskilling Ecosystem project, which will strengthen the Newfoundland and Labrador workforce by creating a technology-focused training and upskilling ecosystem and supporting up to 2,131 Canadians.
  • In 2023 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a $100 million Green Transition Fund Program. The program will provide support to projects for businesses, organizations, post-secondary institutions and industry associations, as well as other collaborative efforts to assist with the province’s transition to a green economy. Contributions may be used to support continued, expanded or new operations in the province that have a special focus on raising awareness; conducting commercial research and development; developing new markets; and other initiatives supporting the green economy.

Implementation and next steps

The areas for early collaboration identified in this document represent initial priorities and actions that, when taken together, will help generate increased momentum, mobilize partners and attract investment that are key to Newfoundland and Labrador’s economic prosperity, now and into the future.

This Collaboration Framework between governments, with early perspectives from Indigenous partners, was developed with initial input from labour, industry, experts and others. The next phase of engagement will involve broadened and more substantive engagement with these partners. The goal is to develop a more comprehensive strategy that deepens our understanding regarding: value chain opportunities in priority energy and resource sectors; workforce considerations; and the enabling factors and existing barriers for projects that will transform the province’s economy for a net-zero future.

This Collaboration Framework serves as an essential foundation for fostering meaningful dialogue and driving action aimed at advancing a low-carbon economy. New dialogues will further develop and expand to reflect Indigenous perspectives, which are essential to the overall success of this initiative. Some groups have indicated interest in establishing a means to make more strategic investments in natural resource and energy projects. Continued Indigenous engagement will provide fora to discuss the opportunity areas and Indigenous perspectives and interests related to the net-zero emissions, sustainable practices, and a protection of natural resources and the environment.

Finally, ongoing collaboration will be pursued to explore more systematic and effective ways to identify, prioritize and advance regionally significant projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, including through improving program alignment and complementarity, exchanging technical expertise and co-funding strategic projects.

As this work is taking place, implementation of the actions listed in this Collaboration Framework, including careful consideration of their environmental impacts, will be a primary focus in the coming years. Several actions are already underway, while others will require mobilizing partners and securing opportunities to leverage various funding and financing instruments to support priorities and projects. Efforts will continue throughout the year to demonstrate and deliver tangible results. The federal government will identify existing funding sources to implement a plan and, in areas where gaps have been identified, consider securing additional resources. The province can provide support within its existing resources, where appropriate. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada and the Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology of Newfoundland and Labrador will provide a progress report across the opportunity areas – ideally within one year – at which point key elements of a more detailed strategy will also be released.

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