Quebec Energy Minister’s vist to Toyota’s Mirai showroom.
Québec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Pierre Arcand was in Japan on September 18th-21st, 2017 to showcase Quebec’s leadership in North America in terms of technological innovation and the electrification of transport. There has been a series of meetings with leaders of major Japanese carmakers that could result in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the infrastructure needed to accommodate the arrival of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Québec has the largest fleet of electric vehicles in Canada
In a speech to more than 100 participants at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Mr. Arcand stressed that Quebec has set ambitious, targets and adopted concrete measures to fight greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr. Arcand added: There are more than 17,900 electric vehicles registered in Quebec, nearly half of the electric vehicles in Canada. The public network of recharging stations started five years ago now has over 1,250 public charging stations at 240 volts, and over seventy charging stations at 400 volts. The network continues to expand.
Quebec’s expertise in Energy -Technology Innovation
As Quebec is the fourth largest hydropower producer in the world, its state-owned Hydro-Quebec makes investments in the state-of-the-art research centers and institutes in various branches of the energy industry, including green chemistry and clean fuels studies.
Therefore, Quebec offers unique business opportunities in three major fields where it can develop partnerships with Japan.
- 1. Energy storage systems that include the development of high-capacity batteries for use in power grids which offer high growth potential.
- 2. Smart grids and devices and support for the R&D will help to curb household and business energy demands through advanced management techniques.
- 3. Production of greener electricity in stand-alone systems with twofold goals to reduce the use of petroleum products while providing surer sources of power to remote communities which are not connected to the main power grid, particularly in Northern Quebec.
Managing Quebec’s energy transition policy
With the goal to make Quebec a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030, Mr. Arcand is supportive of the new agency called TEQ, or “Transition énergétique Québec” whose mission is to support, spur and promote energy transition, innovation, and efficiency. TEQ is also charged with coordinating all programs and measures needed to attain the government energy projects.
Among TEQ’s ongoing energy projects includes the introduction of multifuel filling station and the creation of a solar power farm. Its new agency’s president, Ms. Johanne Gelinas joined Mr. Arcand’s mission in Japan to seek closer collaboration with Japanese counterparts in the private sector. Progress has been achieved that could result in the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding in the near future.
On-going constructive Quebec-Japan dialogue
Quebec’s ambitious 2030 Energy Policy action plan to reduce gas emissions and to improve energy efficiency has been generating interest in Japan.
During his visit in Japan, Quebec’s minister, Mr. Pierre Arcand held discussions with carmakers industry leaders and government agencies officials, saying « In regards to hydrogen, transportation electrification and mineral and energy resource development, Quebec is one of the most attractive places to invest on account of well-developed infrastructure ».
In fact, there have been impressive Quebec-Japan success stories in the field of energy and innovation. One example is an energy storage system demonstration project currently underway at Esstalion Technologies, a Sony/Hydro-Quebec joint venture.
Following Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources mission to Japan, more discussions are planned with Japanese industry leaders attending the 24th World Congress on Intelligent Transportation taking place in Montreal, Québec on October 29th to November 2nd, 2017.