Knowledge and Research

Knowledge and Research

The CIB’s Knowledge and Research initiative is an additional way to have a meaningful impact on the evolution of infrastructure investment in Canada. High quality research supports the development of good projects by the CIB and its public and private sector partners and can lead to better informed policy and investment choices.

As we build a centre of expertise, our goal is to partner with leading experts from across Canada to develop and distribute knowledge and research that will be relevant to the CIB, public project sponsors, private sector and institutional investors and to the broader public policy community.  We aim to enhance understanding and acceptance of infrastructure investment approaches involving private sector investment and expand the CIB’s efforts to support thought leadership within the sector.

There are four strategic priorities in 2020-21: 

  • accelerating strategically identified research topics/themes; 
  • engaging with a network of thought-leaders, including academics and think-tanks, to define and deliver knowledge and research that is net new to the Canadian infrastructure landscape
  • engaging with Federal, Provincial, Territorial and Municipal governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute policy research initiatives, and 
  • building CIB’s capacity as a centre of expertise.

Recent Studies

Climate Impacts on Canada’s Electricity Systems

Changes to Canada’s climate will be on average about double the global average, and have significant impacts on Canada’s electricity systems.   While system planners have traditionally looked to historical data when planning for new investment, changes in temperature and an increased prevalence of adverse weather events mean this can no longer be the case.  New infrastructure will cost more and must be built to withstand climate impacts as they change over the next century. 

Research by the Canadian Energy Research Institute quantifies the magnitude of an array of climate impacts on electricity systems in Canada under a variety of different emission scenarios.  The research looks at impacts by province and in select municipalities, showing that localized climate impacts will vary across the country and this needs to be taken into account.  The CIB is investing in sustainable clean power infrastructure as one of its priority sectors.

A Microgrid Playbook: Conditions and Opportunities for Investment

The challenges of building and providing clean power in rural and remote locations can be daunting. They include lack of capacity, limits of economic scale and difficulty in securing access, among others. As a result, many off-grid communities rely on diesel generation, which bring with it emissions, the risk of spills and air quality impacts. Microgrids relying on solar or wind power could be part of the solution.

This research by the Conference Board of Canada sets out a playbook that identifies positive outcomes that could be achieved with microgrid solutions, including a reduction in the use of diesel, GHG emission reductions and new employment.  Microgrids are also an opportunity to provide for community led energy in Indigenous communities. The CIB has identified clean power as a priority sector for investment and was pleased to support and provide input to this work.

Sustainable Finance II – Public Policy Forum

Incorporating the principles of Sustainable Finance into business processes is critical to making sound investment decisions, accounting for their impact and performance, and ensuring progress is made towards climate and sustainability objectives.

The CIB is working with thought leaders to understand these dynamics and was pleased to partner on this Public Policy Forum roundtable series. Through the discussions and debates that were held insights were shared that will have relevance to the Bank and others in areas such as data collection, reporting and the opportunities to mobilize capital towards sustainability goals. The CIB’s Growth Plan was highlighted as one example of capital mobilization. Read the Public Policy Forum’s full report on the roundtables here.

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