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Mar 07 2016


Mowat Centre Request for Proposals: Future Drivers and Trends Affecting Energy Development in Ontario

March 7, 2016 | By

Update: Project award

Project components were divided between the following successful bidders:

  • Cynthia Chaplin
  • International Energy Transition GmbH and Meister Consultants Group
  • National Regulatory Research Institute
  • Navigant Consulting Ltd.
  • Sweco International AB
  • Waters Wye Associates Ltd

Mowat Energy is conducting a comprehensive study of emerging trends facing the energy sector, with a focus on the drivers and potential trajectories of energy transformation in Ontario and on the effects of energy transformation on Ontario’s energy sector and beyond.

The purpose of the study is to produce short-, medium- and long-term recommendations to help the sector, policymakers and regulators better prepare for Ontario’s possible energy futures.

As part of this study Mowat Energy is seeking international experts to provide critical analyses of the elements that need to be considered and assessed in optimizing the evolution of the Ontario Energy sector to a more flexible environment that allows for the optimal inclusion of new technology, such as distributed energy resources (DER). Contributions from research reports produced by selected experts will be integrated by Mowat into its own research report.

The Mowat Centre is an independent public policy think tank located at the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto and Ontario’s non-partisan, evidence-based voice on public policy. We undertake collaborative applied policy research, propose innovative research-driven recommendations, and engage in public dialogue on Canada’s most important national issues. Our policy areas of expertise are intergovernmental economic and social policy, state transformation, energy policy and not-for-profit policy.

The Mowat Energy research hub provides independent, evidence-based research and analysis on systemic energy policy issues facing Ontario and Canada. With its strong relationship with the energy sector, Mowat Energy has provided thought leadership to stakeholders, decision-makers and the public to help advance discussions on the challenges that energy is facing in Ontario.

Purpose and Background

As part of this project Mowat Energy has produced the Ontario Energy Sector Background Paper, which provides a detailed description of the regulatory environment that exists in Ontario today. This background paper is attached as Appendix B.

As a next step, Mowat Energy wishes to develop a principle-based analysis of Ontario’s energy system and an understanding of the factors that should be taken into account in the evolution of that system to a modern energy system, one which optimally accommodates and incorporates distributed energy resources. We also need to understand which technologies are most likely to be most impactful, when and in what order.

There are also some system characteristics that Ontario has identified, to date, as being important and abiding values. These include:

  • The desire that the system be efficient and effective, that is, that it will deliver energy with a high degree of reliability to customers at a principle-based cost.
  • The importance of having an energy system that is appropriately leavened with as much competition-based pricing for as many system attributes and assets as can be reasonably accommodated.
  • A commitment to a low carbon economy.
  • Maintaining an energy system that enables utilities to effectively serve all of their customers confidently and with a reasonable expectation of return on investment.

Scope of Requested Services

In support of this project, we seek critical analyses of the options that exist to facilitate the transition from Ontario’s current system, as described in the background paper in Appendix B, to a more flexible, reliable, clean and affordable energy system that can accommodate innovation.

At one pole of this analysis is a consideration of the principles and options associated with the existing environment as described in the background paper and the minimal necessary steps to begin the process of integrating distributed energy resources in Ontario. At the other pole is a fully realized flexible, decentralized energy system, offering a range of options to customers predicated on a fully competitive model.

Specifically, Mowat Energy is seeking international experts to produce research papers identifying and analyzing technological, economic, and social drivers of change in energy systems. Research papers are to be organized along four broad portfolios:

  1. The New Energy Customer
  2. Meeting Energy Demand Behind the Meter
  3. Grid Modernization and the Utility of the Future
  4. The Future of Centralized Supply

The research papers are expected to discuss emerging technologies and policies as well as economic, social and market trends that will affect Ontario’s energy sector, with a view to 2050. The research papers are expected to consider effects on the energy system as a whole as well as effects on the different energy system participants including energy customers, utilities and existing commercial generators, government, investors and proponents, and new market entrants. The research papers are also expected to consider the role of climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as other macroeconomic effects.

Detailed guidelines as to the requirements of the research papers, consisting of key questions and subjects of interest for each portfolio, are provided in Appendix A: Purpose and Scope of the RFP. Proponents’ analyses will necessarily be informed by a comprehensive appreciation of these elements. There are redundancies in the questions, and some may become more or less important as successful proponents develop their research papers. These key questions are not exhaustive, and we expect that there will be ongoing dialogue between successful proponents and Mowat Energy as proponents develop their analyses. Interim reports provided by the successful proponents will provide opportunities for course correction and refinement of the research outcome.

Research papers are expected to draw upon international experience and offer fresh perspectives. Mowat Energy will apply the researchers’ findings to the Ontario context.


Project deliverables will include:

  • Early draft research report providing preliminary findings, expected by April 22, 2016.
  • Discussion of preliminary findings with Mowat Energy staff, expected in the week of April 25-29, 2016.
  • Final research report, expected by May 20, 2016.

Submission Requirements

Successful proponents must demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and expertise to address with sufficient depth the key guiding questions outlined in Appendix A: Purpose and Scope of the RFP.
  • International experience researching and analyzing one or more portfolios outlined above.
  • Track record of providing research and analysis for governments and regulatory bodies in jurisdictions other than Ontario.

Successful proponents must also provide:

  • Outline of research approach.
  • Description of the expertise of proposed team members.
  • Resumes of proposed team members
  • List of similar and related projects performed by the proponent for government/regulator clients and 2-3 samples of related work.
  • Outline of proposed project deliverables, milestones and timelines.
  • Proposed budget itemizing cost for each deliverable.

Other Requirements

Successful proponents need to be available for possible presentation of reports at an energy leaders’ summit that may be organized in Ontario in the spring of 2017. Costs/expenses related to this presentation will be subject to a subsequent contract with the proponents.

Intellectual Property

The Mowat Centre will retain copyright to all products submitted under the above deliverables.

Deadline and Submission Procedure

Completed proposals should be submitted via email by March 24, 2016.

Interested proponents should direct submissions and all communications to Petar Prazic,

Reference Documents

Appendix A: Purpose and Scope of the RFP
Appendix B: Background Report on the Ontario Energy Sector

Addendum – March 8, 2016

Bidders are encouraged to design and price their proposals to best meet the requirements set out in the RFP. We would expect a minimum of 25 pages per portfolio, recognizing that reporting on more than one portfolio may affect overall page numbers, particularly if a synthesis, synopsis or summary is included.

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