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Federal Policy in Energy

The Office of Energy Research and Development

A flare stack is a tall structure located at refineries. It is used for burning-off waste oil or gas. The Office of Energy and Research Development (OERD) is a division of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and has coordinated energy research and development in Canada for more than 20 years. The OERD operates under the federal Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD) that funds research and development designed to ensure a sustainable energy program for Canada. The PERD directly supports 40 percent of all non-nuclear R and D conducted by federal and provincial organizations in Canada. The project is concerned with all types of energy supply and use, aside from nuclear energy.A booming oil and gas industry in Alberta provides thousands of workers with high wages. Many come from all areas of Canada to work in the province's oilfields.

The OERD, through the PERD project, is involved in a broad range of activities concerning energy research and development and has focused on six particular strategies chosen to meet the energy priorities outlined by the federal government. These strategies, according to their website, include

  • Diversifying Canada's Oil and Gas. The OERD has placed emphasis on finding alternative sources for oil and gas, specifically from offshore drilling projects, especially in the Northwest Territories, and further development of the oilsands in Alberta. Their strategy also focuses on environmental and safety issues surrounding these projects including ground water/soil contamination and pipeline integrity.
  • Cleaner Transportation for the Future. Cleaner transportation involves a number of innovative ideas, including renewable resources for transportation fuel, improved vehicle efficiency, improved urban air quality with the reduction of emissions and greenhouse gas production.
  • Energy Efficient Buildings and Communities. This includes a number of innovative ideas that focus on the array of factors that contribute to more efficient communities and cities, including innovative waste recovery and recycling, integration of energy efficient products into homes and offices and improving building techniques for sturdier structures and more efficient utilization of limited space.
  • Energy Efficient Industry. Energy efficiency in industry can be improved with innovative products, processes and systems in a number of areas, such as: agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining and minerals and heavy production. The OERD works to develop efficient processes to reduce production costs and environmental impact.
  • Canada’s Energy Infrastructure. The PERD strategy is seeking alternative electrical power generation to reduce the impact on the environment from coal burning and hydro dams. Improvements also contribute to the efficiency of converting these renewable and non-renewable energy resources into electricity.
  • Climate Change. The OERD is concerned with the recent climate changes and supports the Canadian energy sector’s attempts to reduce their impact on the environment. Also, the OERD is currently researching ways to encourage the natural uptake of greenhouse gases.

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