Energy Disruptors: Unite 2022 Summit – Key Takeaways

By Kent Ferguson and Lindsay Patrick
Published October 4, 2022 | 2 min read

Our experts share key insights from the EDU Summit on advancing the energy transition to create value for all stakeholders.

A delegation from RBC attended the Energy Disruptors: Unite (EDU) 2022 Summit in Calgary. The three-day conference convened an inspiring mix of global industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and management teams from across the energy spectrum to discuss how they are advancing the energy transition to create value for all stakeholders. Here are our top three takeaways:


The Enabling Role of a Stable Policy Framework

Many industry leaders noted the important role of government in establishing a clear policy framework and providing the stability and certainty needed to catalyze broader investment towards solutions that support the energy transition. Each class of capital – venture, strategic, and institutional – comes with its own risk, return, and duration expectations that may not be currently aligned with the capital required for the energy transition today. As a result, speakers noted the critical role of government support in helping to scale early-stage technology investments in order to crowd in private capital on a long-term, sustainable basis. Many panelists highlighted the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a game-changer in terms of incentivizing and stimulating investment in the development and deployment of breakthrough energy transition technologies and the requirement for other countries, including Canada, to follow suit in order to remain competitive. Establishing longer-term certainty in the carbon pricing environment through legislative means was also noted as an effective way to advance transition-related investments.


An Orderly Transition Hinges On Consumer Decision-Making and Human Behavior

Consumer behavior will play a central role in how society transitions from one energy state to another. Many speakers highlighted the importance of understanding behavioral science and the underlying conditions necessary to facilitate an orderly energy transition, including ensuring alternatives offer consumers the convenience and cost to which they are accustomed. A number of panelists noted the meaningful role of consumer-focused incentives in advancing progress on the demand side.  To build public confidence and shift habits, a number of conditions need to be met – including quality, accessibility, and affordability – a challenging order in an inflationary environment.


Energy Security and the Importance of Strategic Flexibility

The complex balancing act of the “energy trilemma” – managing energy security, affordability, and sustainability – emerged as a central point of discussion throughout the conference. Many speakers recognized that hydrocarbons will continue to play an important role in the energy mix for years to come and highlighted the need for a variety of energy sources, both conventional and renewable, to ensure strategic flexibility and a resilient energy supply, particularly in an environment marked by ongoing geopolitical unrest and shifting energy distribution systems. Despite ongoing energy security concerns, industry leaders noted that progress toward corporate climate goals has not been put on hold – rather, as one Chief Sustainability Officer noted, “the question is - how can we do both?”

Kent Ferguson

Kent Ferguson
Global Co-Head, Energy

Lindsay Patrick

Lindsay Patrick
Head, Strategic Initiatives and ESG

Energy DisruptorsEnergy SecurityEnergy TransitionEnergy Transition MomentumEnergy Trilemma