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CESAR (Canada Energy Systems Analysis Research) is an initiative started by Dr. David Layzell at the University of Calgary in 2013. Supported by the Transition Accelerator (a non-profit charitable organization), as well as government grants and contracts, CESAR works to identify and deploy credible, compelling transition pathways that are capable of transforming Canada to a vibrant, low-carbon economy.
Using the Transition Accelerator methodology, CESAR works to understand the challenges and opportunities facing Canada’s existing systems and then works with innovative industry, government, academic and public stakeholders to develop a shared vision for possible transition pathways to a better future. CESAR then engages the innovators to build consortia and attract funding for pilots, demonstration or commercialization projects to advance the transition to a low carbon economy.
CESAR assesses the performance of these projects and works across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries to accelerate the systems transition and direct disruptive forces to achieve societal objectives that include, but are not limited to, climate change mitigation.
More than a year’s worth of research, data analysis and scenario modelling in CESAR, informed by regular consultations with the freight transportation sector and other technology providers, led to the concept of the AZETEC project. When the Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) Biotechnology, Electricity and Sustainable Transportation (BEST) competition was announced, CESAR worked to bring together a consortia of innovative companies that shared a vision for a hydrogen economy anchored by heavy freight transport.
CESAR’s current role in AZETEC is to coordinate research and modelling activities around the project, including assessing the performance of the technologies and GHG accounting. CESAR is also engaging with academic, industry and government stakeholders to co-develop potential transition pathways for the larger-scale deployment of heavy duty hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, and the hydrogen supply infrastructure in Alberta and across Canada.
In addition to ERA’s contribution, support for CESAR’s work comes from The Transition Accelerator and the Energy Futures Lab (EFL). CESAR, The Transition Accelerator and the EFL will be partnering to bring together and support innovators who share a credible and compelling vision for a new economy based on the production, use and export of very low- or zero-emission transportation fuels.
“Alberta’s vast hydrocarbon resources give the province a competitive advantage in providing hydrogen as a cost-effective, zero-emission fuel that will deliver benefits to the heavy freight sector in the province and across Canada. The AZETEC project will demonstrate the viability of hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in meeting the needs of the freight sector. As the ‘anchor tenant’ in a ‘Made-in-Alberta’ hydrogen economy, the freight sector can take a leadership role in the transition towards a vibrant, low carbon economy for the province.”
– Dr. David Layzell