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Future Energy Systems


Our future energy needs will not be met by one source, but many. Hydrocarbons, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, and other technologies can all contribute to a complex system that meets our society's increasing energy needs, while reducing our carbon footprint.

Future Energy Systems focuses on multidisciplinary research that develops the energy technologies of the near future, explores how these technologies can be integrated into our present-day infrastructure, and examines possible consequences for our society and the economy. It also develops potential solutions for the challenges created by existing energy systems.

By considering complete energy systems, this research initiative moves beyond the development of individual technologies, and addresses the real complexities of integrating new energy sources on a global scale.

By operating in a multidisciplinary manner, our work trains graduate students who will contribute to global energy innovation for years to come.

By addressing questions such as the energy and carbon requirements of new technologies, the challenges of widespread integration, and the social and economic consequences of change, Future Energy Systems researchers work together to shape our world’s complex energy future.


Based at the University of Alberta, one of world’s top 100 research-intensive institutions, Future Energy Systems was launched with $75 million in funding from the Government of Canada’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Delivered over seven years, this funding will allow the initiative to support numerous research projects within four broad areas:

- Energy Systems

- Renewable Energy Technologies

- Improved Environmental Performance

- Responsible Hydrocarbon Development

Future Energy Systems’ research explores these areas in a systematic manner, supporting clusters of related projects within themes based on resource extraction and conversion, and the associated economic, social, and environmental impacts.

University of Alberta researchers from Arts, Science, Engineering, Native Studies, the School of Business, and Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences are investigating interrelated questions relevant to their expertise, and contributing to a broad body of knowledge which improves our understanding of new technologies, and the implications surrounding their potential integration into future energy systems.