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Ezra's Round Table / Systems Seminar: Oskar Sigvaldason (SCMS Global) - Climate Change and Transformations of Energy System in Canada

Friday, October 5, 2018 at 12:15pm

Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall, 253

One of the truly dominant challenges facing mankind today is mitigation against consequences of climate change and global warming. This involves major transformations of energy and economic systems, with large associated costs. This is a complex challenge, requiring transformations in virtually every sector of our society. This will result in changes in development and use of our resources, including especially for meeting growing energy based demands, associated with continuing economic growth.

Dr. Oskar Sigvaldason will be giving a presentation on the approach and methodology being used in Canada for defining long-term “pathways” and associated strategies, for transforming energy systems, in response to expanding needs of a growing Canadian economy, and for meeting increasingly stringent GHG mitigation targets. This includes 30% reduction in emissions by 2030, relative to 2005, as per the Paris Accord (2015), and 80% reduction as per the strategic plan presented at the subsequent COP 22 (2016) meeting in Marrakech.

The approach and methodology is based on deriving minimum cost solutions for all of Canada, for the cumulative period to 2050, with complementing use of two mathematical models. Canada is represented by its thirteen interconnected provincial and territorial jurisdictions, and with linkages to jurisdictions outside Canada, including the United States. The models include the Canadian portion of the North America TIMES Energy optimization model (NATEM-Canada) and the Canadian Energy Systems simulation model (CanESS). The methodology for the NATEM model is based on TIMES/ MARKAL formulation, with development and use coordinated globally by the International Energy Agency through its Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program (IEA-ETSAP).

Oskar Sigvaldason, through his wholly owned corporation, SCMS Global, provides consulting and management services, including integrating engineering of infrastructure projects with economic development, environmental sustainability, and strategic and policy assessments. Some of this work includes application of state of the art systems methodology, with large scale mathematical models, for analyzing complex systems.

Examples of recent assignments include; Project Manager for deriving minimum cost strategies for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation for Ontario to 2030, and 2050, prepared for Environmental Commissioner of Ontario; deriving minimum cost strategies for Canada to reduce GHG emissions by up to 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 (carried out with aid of two mathematical models; NATEM optimization model (based on TIMES/ MARKAL formulation), and CanESS simulation model); and as external reviewer for Government of Canada’s “Canada’s Mid-Century Long-Term Low-Greenhouse Gas Development Strategy” Report, presented at COP 22 meeting in Marrakech.

Oskar worked with Acres International (consulting engineers in energy and infrastructure sectors) for 38 years. He joined Acres as a Senior Engineer and progressed to become President of the Acres Group. During his career, his experience included corporate management, project management, engineering design, national and sub-national electricity and energy planning studies, and institutional development assignments. As examples, he was official Representative for feasibility study of 22,500 Mw. Three Gorges hydro/water resources project in China, and Project Manager for 10,800 Mw Karnali hydro/water resources project in Nepal, for dedicated electricity export to India.

Oskar Sigvaldason has served as a Director and Trustee for approximately 25 publicly traded companies, private corporations, Authorities, Councils, University, and advocacy organizations for the past 30 years.

Oskar has been closely associated with the World Energy Council (WEC), headquartered in London, England, since 2000, and as Board Director of Energy Council of Canada (ECC), since 1994.

During the period 2004 to 2007, he was North America Steering Committee Representative for a WEC Global Study, “Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050”. This included coordinating inputs from North America, with national workshops in each of United States, Canada and Mexico. The results were assembled in a North America Report, which served as input to the Global Report. The Global Report was presented at the WEC Congress in Rome, in November, 2007. The companion North America Report, which he co-authored, was finalized in 2008. He has continued to participate in all subsequent WEC scenarios studies.

Oskar has provided leadership in application of “systems analysis” methods for decision support for deriving optimal solutions for complex problems, especially for integrated energy/ water resources/ infrastructure/ economic/ environmental systems. As examples, these include (in addition to Trottier Energy Futures Project, described above); Corporate Manager and/or Project Manager for preparing national energy sector investment and strategic development plans, and updates, for Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana, Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia (Sulawesi); Project Manager for optimizing system dispatch for integrated water resources systems, such as the Mahaweli system in Sri Lanka and the multi-basin system in South Africa; and system dispatch for maximizing hydro production from the bi-national Columbia River system in North America.

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Event Type



College of Engineering, Systems Engineering, Engineering


engineering, systems engineering, College of Engineering





Oskar T. Sigvaldason Ph.D., P.Eng.

Speaker Affiliation

Founder & President, SCMS Global

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