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Sub-program 2.2.1

Materials for Energy


This Sub-program directly delivers materials research and solutions that enable cleaner energy production, and more efficient use of energy in end-use applications such as transportation and industry. Canada must reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy production, transportation and use, grow energy supply, and maintain a mix of energy sources and technologies. Innovative materials solutions are key enablers for new technologies for extraction and processing of oil sands and for nuclear and coal-fired power generation. New materials technologies are also needed to increase oil and gas pipeline capacity and to monitor pipeline performance and integrity. The Sub-program develops advanced materials and processing technologies to reduce vehicle emissions. Key strategies to reduce energy use by conventional, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles are to reduce vehicle weight, increase powertrain efficiency, and improve energy storage, fluid management and other systems. Collaboration with vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and the US Department of Energy drives priorities, accelerates applied research and development, and reduces implementation risks for businesses.

Non-Financial Performance Information
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets
Industry uses new materials technologies in nuclear reactors Number of new materials technologies developed or validated by NRCan in nuclear reactor designs submitted for approval

3 over 5 years by March 31, 2017

Industry uses new materials technology to transport fossil fuels effectively (safely and efficiently) Number of proposed projects to transport fossil fuels more effectively (safely and efficiently) using new materials technologies developed or validated by NRCan

3 over 5 years by March 31, 2017

Industry uses advanced materials technologies in new energy-efficient vehicle designs Number of advanced materials technologies to which NRCan contributed that are identified by industry stakeholders for implementation in new energy efficient vehicles to be produced in North America 2 over 3 years by March 31, 2015
Financial Performance Information ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Main Estimates
9,190 9,190


FSDS Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

FSDS Goal 1 – Climate Change

Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change.

FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation

Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

FSDS Implementation Strategy – Clean Transportation

1.1.39 Develop improved materials and processes to achieve more energy-efficient, lower-emission vehicles. (NRCan)  

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

Current materials do not support the transportation industries’ new requirements for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Increased R&D on materials for lightweighting vehicles and its powertrain is required. In order to accommodate the new requirements, the Advanced Materials for Transportation (AMT) research program under this Sub-program develops the advanced materials, processes and fabrication techniques required to significantly improve the energy efficiency of the next generation of vehicles. The AMT program focuses on advancing the structural, powertrain and chassis materials now used on conventional vehicles for use on next-generation vehicles. Lightweighting is an important area that enables the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, increases fuel economy, enhances safety, and is a key enabling technology for the development of hybrid, fuel cell, biodiesel and other eco-friendly fueled vehicles. Through substantial collaboration, this program will develop a new generation of researchers in metallurgical alloys and materials to enhance the competitiveness of the Canadian automotive industry and transfer key technology to the benefit of all Canadians.

The energy efficiency of NRCan’s fleet of vehicles can be improved by lightweighting and advanced powertrains. Advanced research into new materials, conducted in partnership with other stakeholders – including automotive manufacturers, universities and federal labs – promotes the adoption of innovative new lightweight automotive structures powered by advanced powertrains that can significantly reduce the overall weight of a vehicle and improve its performance, resulting in fuel savings and reduced carbon emissions. Thus, the AMT research program under this Sub-program contributes indirectly to FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation.

Program Name: Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate Footnote 1

CAA Theme: Adaptation

Description of Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate:

NRCan’s enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate program involves activities in the Earth Sciences Sector (under Sub-program 3.1.4), the Minerals and Metals Sector (under Sub-program 2.2.1) and the Canadian Forest Service (under Sub-program 3.1.3). The activities for this program for each sector are described below.

Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (CCIAD)

Successfully planning for and managing the impacts of climate change requires not only the exploration of the risks and opportunities created by a changing climate but also information sharing and co-operation among multiple levels of decision-makers. This program is delivering an Adaptation Platform that brings together industry and professional organizations, provincial, territorial and federal departments as well as other relevant organizations to address shared adaptation priorities. The Adaptation Platform will enhance the competitiveness of regions and key industries by providing a structure to bring together knowledge, capacity and financial resources from across Canada to produce information and tools that regions and key industries need to understand and adapt to the effects of a changing climate on their operations.

Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) Project on Mine Waste Management in a Changing Climate

Climatic warming in the North poses new challenges to various mining-related activities, especially mine waste management and effluent treatment. Relying on available and proven technologies without exploring new alternatives is inadequate to efficiently tackle the pending challenges. As part of a larger departmental program on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, CanmetMINING is assessing the current mine waste management and effluent treatment practices in the North with respect to their ability to accommodate the impacts of extreme climatic events. The work focuses on northern mining vulnerability, examining operations, development and reclamation projects, as well as researching potential adaptation options.

Canadian Forest Service (CFS) Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

The Canadian Forest Service is building a national framework to integrate existing and new scientific information and enable the integrated assessment of the implications of climate change for Canada’s forest sector. The program includes developing a set of indicators of climate change impacts on Canada’s forests and forest management systems, and implementing a system to track and report on them. A toolkit of useful and actionable information and tools to inform operational, strategic and policy decisions on adaptation and to enhance forest sector capacity to mitigate climate change impacts is being developed in close collaboration with Canada’s forest sector.

Expected program results for 2013-14:

NRCan’s Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate program will deliver information and share expertise to improve the ability of decision-makers in Canada’s regions and targeted economic sectors to adapt. The Earth Sciences Sector will establish an Adaptation Platform and continue to bring together knowledge, capacity and financial resources to efficiently and effectively facilitate adaptation action. In 2013-14, cost shared projects funded under the Mining, Northern and Measuring Progress Working Groups will deliver preliminary results, which will be shared broadly. A second call for proposals will fund activities in existing and newly established working groups including Economics of Adaptation and Energy. The program will also deliver an update to the 2007 national assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation. The Minerals and Metals Sector will deliver a report and a technical seminar to improve knowledge on the climate change impacts on mine waste management and effluent treatment in the North and offer practical adaptation technologies. The Canadian Forest Service will deliver a prioritization framework for indicators of climate change impacts, develop an initial adaptation toolkit, and start reporting results of its tracking system. In 2013-14, the program will also identify the areas of focus and the methodology for its integrated assessment.

Performance measures:

Key outcomes Indicators Targets Tracking Methods
Increased awareness and engagement in adaptation Change in number of decision-makers aware and engaged 30% increase in awareness of adaptation over 2009 benchmark by 2014 Survey in 2014-15
Participation in the Adaptation Platform 90% of targeted stakeholder groups participate Reports on Platform activities
Increased capacity of individuals, communities and economic sectors to adapt to a changing climate Mining staff, regulators and public more aware of climate change effects on the management of mine wastes and potential mitigation strategies 300 individuals in the mining sector (mining company and regulatory staff) and public participate in information sessions or training related to project findings Number of people who attend project information sessions and other project activities
Program spending for 2013-14
Total CAA Program Planned Spending
198,950Footnote 2

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