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June 16, 2023

Aurora CEO speaks on clean energy transition at IEFA 2023

Clean Energy IEFA 2023

The International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA) Conference located in Montreal, Canada hosted a significant panel discussion that brought together prominent industry leaders to shed light on the pivotal topic of clean energy transition. The panel consisted of Ion Sterian, the Chief Executive Officer of Transgaz; David Cataford, the Chief Executive Officer of Champion Iron; Andrew Gillis, the Chief Executive Officer of Aurora Hydrogen; and Laurent Germain, the Chief Executive Officer of Egis. Sarojini Vasant, the Managing Director of Invest Alberta, skilfully moderated the session.

The heart of the discussion revolved around the critical elements necessary for a successful transition to clean energy. This journey not only hinges on the appropriate technological advancements but is equally dependent on the development of essential infrastructure to generate and distribute clean energy. This encompasses a vast spectrum, spanning from the initial stages of resource extraction, through processing, to the implementation of energy distribution systems. 

As the discussion deepened, the panellists delved into the potential geopolitical risks and challenges that could hinder the development of clean energy infrastructure. The issue of supply chains emerged as a pivotal obstacle that has impacted various industries in recent years. The panel explored strategies to break these barriers and enable an uninterrupted flow across the entire value chain and infrastructure network to pave the way for clean energy solutions.

Dr. Andrew Gillis emphasized the importance of leveraging current infrastructure to reduce hydrogen transportation costs and align with the goal of distributing low-cost, clean energy. Aurora's approach to hydrogen production will significantly lower the electricity demand for hydrogen production and eliminate the need for new hydrogen pipelines.   

When questioned about the challenges in recruiting talent, Dr. Gillis pointed out that there is a steady influx of new talent entering the industry. This is largely because young engineers are drawn to the concept of decarbonization and are enthusiastic about participating in the global shift toward sustainability. 

In the pursuit of these goals, the conversation naturally led to the importance of comprehensive policies. The panellists recognized the essential role of well-crafted policies in fostering an environment conducive to clean energy development. One of the key themes that emerged was the need for enhanced public-private collaboration. The panelists passionately discussed strategies to encourage stronger partnerships between government entities and private sectors to drive the collective vision of a cleaner and sustainable future.

Concluding the panel discussion, a question arose regarding the panellists' degree of optimism about achieving infrastructure readiness for clean energy by 2050. Dr. Gillis expressed a strong sense of optimism due to observing a significant surge in advanced technology backed by substantial investment and the efforts of highly capable individuals. He believes that by the years 2030 to 2035, many new technologies will come to market, playing a pivotal role in decarbonization of the economy.