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The Role of Governments: Policy Actions to Transform Energy Systems and Drive Innovation


What role should governments play in creating an environment that promotes energy transformation and innovation? How should governments use the policy levers that are available to them (regulations; grants/subsidies/tax relief; moral suasion) to drive energy innovation? This panel will discuss the pros and cons of using each of these policy levers with discussion of examples such as FIT (feed-in-tariffs); carbon charges and energy efficiency regulations.



Fellow of the
Institute for Public Economics,
 University of Alberta

R.J. (Bob) Fessenden recently retired as Deputy Minister of the Premier's Council for Economic Strategy, Government of Alberta. From 1999, Dr. Fessenden served as Deputy Minister in four different departments: Economic Development; Sustainable Resource Development; Innovation and Science; and Advanced Education and Technology.

Previously a staff member at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Forestry, Dr. Fessenden taught courses in forest soil science from 1967 to 1978. In 1978, he joined Syncrude Canada Ltd. as Head of the Terrestrial Environment Section in the Environmental Affairs Department where he was responsible for land reclamation planning and research and environmental impact assessment. From 1982 to 1995, Dr. Fessenden held a variety of positions at the Alberta Research Council including Head of the Soils and Terrain Sciences departments and Vice-President of the Natural Resources, Resource Technologies, Development and Planning, and Research Operations divisions. In 1995, he was appointed as President of the Alberta Science and Research Authority where he served until 1999.

Dr. Fessenden completed his B.Sc.F. at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Toronto in 1965, his M.Sc. in Microbiology at the University of Guelph in 1967, and his PhD in Microbiology at McGill University in 1976.






Grant Sprague

Deputy Minister, Department of Energy, Government of Alberta


Grant Sprague received his LL.B. at the University of Alberta in 1989. He practiced law at an established Edmonton law firm in the area of foreclosures, insolvency and general litigation, and joined the Alberta Public Service in 1997.

Grant was the former Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the Legal Services Division of Alberta Justice, and led the Environmental Law section of Alberta Justice, providing advice on a wide range of natural resources and environmental law issues.

He served as the Deputy Chief of the Policy Coordination Office in Executive Council until July 2013. While there he led a team that supported long-term strategic planning and policy coordination, the regulatory review process, and coordination for the policy excellence initiative.

Grant is currently an ongoing seasonal lecturer at the University of Alberta’s School of Business. He was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as Queen’s Counsel for Alberta in 2010.




Peter Kujawinski resized

Consul General of the United States of America
Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories

Peter Kujawinski is a career American diplomat who joined the State Department in 1998. His previous assignments include postings to U.S. Embassies in France and Israel. He also was posted to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Security Council in New York. In his most recent assignment to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, he worked as Political Counselor and coordinator of U.S. assistance promoting governance and rule of law.

In 2002, as part of a training assignment with the State Department, Peter spent a year in a mid-career Masters program at France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA). He received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1996.

Peter is co-author of the young adult book series Dormia, and also has contributed commentary to the International Herald Tribune. He is married to singer/songwriter Nancy Celia Rose, and they have three children. A Chicago native, Peter speaks fluent French and Haitian Creole, and some Hebrew and Polish.






Stephen Lougheed resized

CEO, Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures


Stephen Lougheed was appointed President & CEO of Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures (AITF) in Spring 2012 by the corporation’s Board of Directors. He brings more than three decades of national and international experience and expertise to AITF in a wide range of areas, including strategic planning, operational leadership and management, technological and business development, restructuring, and governance.

Over the past 35 years, Stephen has successfully built and grown a number of technology-related businesses and led some of these companies through organizational and business transformations. He has worked with a wide variety of client groups in the technology sector, including those in the resource, infrastructure, land and integrated resource management, manufacturing, consumer and public sectors.








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Located in the heart of downtown Edmonton, the Shaw Conference Centre overlooks the beautiful North Saskatchewan River Valley, the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America. Shaw is the premier Edmonton conference venue, with a location that provides access to over 2,000 downtown hotel rooms plus shopping, entertainment, dining and transportation.

The Shaw Conference Centre hosts approximately 650 Edmonton events each year, attracting over half a million visitors.

The Shaw Conference Centre is a partner in FRESH, an innovative program that supports conference and meeting planners in creating unique Edmonton experiences that are environmentally, socially and economically responsible.

For more information on the Shaw Conference Centre, please click here.



Lowering the world’s greenhouse gas emissions is not an easy task, but with the right minds in the right place, it can be done.

Held in Edmonton, Alta., the Zero 2014 Conference will address the goal of lowering our carbon impact by bringing together policy and clean-technology leaders from around the world. This three day conference will also feature presentations from the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation Grand Challenge Round 1 Finalists.

CCEMC: A Global Responsibility


Join us today by viewing our livestream at 1:30pm.


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