NRC capabilities in clean energy and resources

Meeting Canada's innovation challenges

  • 2019 concluded the warmest decade on record
  • Energy production and use account for 80% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions


  • By 2030: 30% reduction below 2005 greenhouse gas emissions

Energy and Canada's low carbon future

  • Cleaner and more efficient energy for communities and industry
  • Convenient transportation fueled by zero-emission vehicles
  • Healthier, comfortable, net zero homes
  • Resilient infrastructure and ecosystems to withstand climate change
  • Land use and conservation that sequesters carbon and adapts to climate change

Energy storage and generation

  • Advance new energy storage technology for stationary and transportation applications
  • Advance the integration of new technologies into electrical grids
  • Advance renewable marine energy

Bioenergy and low carbon fuels

  • Improve biomass and waste to energy conversion and biofuel upgrading
  • Increase fuel flexibility of conventional power generation technology
  • Certify and integrate sustainable fuels for ground transport and aviation

Materials for clean fuels

  • Develop new materials to convert CO2 into renewable fuels and chemical feedstocks
  • Reduce the cost to make, move, store and use hydrogen
  • Develop AI-accelerated platforms for catalyst discovery

Clean transportation

  • Reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions in air, ground and marine transportation
  • Reduce energy consumption of vehicles
  • Increase usage of alternative fuels
  • Enhance the reliability of electric transportation, while reducing costs and associated risks for surface and air travel

Smart buildings

  • Increase energy efficiency, deployment and economic performance
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commercial and institutional buildings through energy retrofit technologies
  • Develop innovative northern housing technologies

Component and system validation

  • Third party validation of materials, cells, packs, modules and systems
  • Development of codes, standards and testing protocols
  • Failure and abuse testing: full-scale and component
  • Accelerated testing and stressor analysis

Technical and market analysis

  • Techno-economic assessment of smart grid technologies
  • Codes and standards development and support, including technological and metrological support for electrical standards
  • Technology analysis and roadmap development
  • Component and system cost analysis

Materials and storage technologies

  • Battery raw materials processing and upgrading analysis and optimisation (lithium, graphite, vanadium, silicon)
  • Development of new and optimized materials (anode/cathode/electrolytes)
  • Electrochemical materials development and validation (polymers, ceramics, catalysts)
  • Analysis of safety and failure modes and effects
  • Graphene nanomaterials, characterisation, reference materials and standards

Systems and grid integration

  • Demonstration support including factory acceptance and site acceptance test development and deployment
  • Systems modeling and optimization
  • Optimal dispatch scenarios and analysis
  • Safety analysis including failure modes and effects analysis, and hazard and operability
  • Communication, controls, and data acquisition design and deployment
  • Self-managing and self-healing power apparatus, including health monitoring and precision fault location
  • Vehicle-to-grid and charging infrastructure

Low carbon fuels

  • Ground-based and in-flight fuel testing
  • Static engine testing and engine test cells
  • Engine qualification testing
  • Modifications to components and fuel systems
  • Assessment of materials and coating compatibility with alternative fuels
  • Techno-economic assessment of smart grid technologies
  • Codes and standards development and support, including technological and metrological support for electrical standards
  • Technology analysis and roadmap development
  • Component and system cost analysis

Biomass conversion

  • Pre-treatment and biomass conversion technologies (microbial processes, torrefaction, pyrolysis and gasification) to reduce cost and enhance conversion efficiency and energy density
  • Optimizing processes for biofuel upgrading

Cleaner combustion

  • Adapting conventional power generation technology to work with fossil fuel derivatives, including gasified coal, biomass and municipal waste
  • Solving biofuel power plant compatibility issues
  • Enhancing performance of reciprocating and gas turbine engines and components to enhance fuel flexibility, improve operability, optimise systems and reduce emissions
  • Combustion and integration of fuels with conversion systems for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and mobile applications

Testing and demonstration

  • Design, develop, demonstrate, deploy new value-added bio-refining products and processes
  • Small and pilot-scale fermentation and bioconversion pilot plants
  • Biomass combined heat and power testing and training hub for remote communities
  • Demonstrate new, cleaner low-emission combustors from technology readiness level 3 to 6
  • Techno-economics and codes and standards support
  • Flew first civil jet powered by 100% unblended biofuel
  • Qualification of new fuels from bench-scale to full-scale engine testing


  • More electric aircraft and hybrid propulsion
  • Battery raw materials processing, optimization, validation
  • Battery components development and validation
  • Battery safety and failure modes analysis for impact of duty cycles on lifetime
  • Numerical simulation and modeling of lithium battery cells and packs
  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle component manufacturing
  • Manufacturing and materials for low cost electric motors


  • Aluminium and hybrid components and structures: specialised aluminium forming, assembling, corrosion control and performance validation
  • Plastic and bioplastic formulation, compounding and processing
  • Conventional and advanced composite and bio-composite formulation development and manufacturing

Performance and certification testing

  • Aircraft and surface vehicle drag reduction
  • Reducing fuel burn
  • Wind tunnels and engine test facilities
  • Developing and validating technologies to meet environmental, safety, cost-reduction, performance, and fuel flexibility requirements
  • Validation and safety-testing services to ease the adoption of new electrification technologies
  • Vehicle level integration and testing

Alternative fuels and emission control

  • Qualification of alternative fuels
  • Combustion and fuel nozzle development and evaluation
  • Engine and turbomachinery aerodynamics
  • Technologies and materials to reduce friction losses
  • Selective catalytic reduction component development
  • Catalyst material and catalyst support development
  • Numerical simulation and modeling of engine systems

Clean hydrogen

  • Custom H2-certified facility
  • Codes and standards expertise and support
  • Catalyst and membrane materials development, design, testing
  • Electrochemical energy conversion: H2, fuel cells, electrolysers
  • H2 storage

Process efficiency

  • Process development and optimization: sensors and materials to improve mining process efficiency
  • Microbial electrochemical technology (MET): produce direct current from biodegradable materials for energy neutral / energy positive wastewater treatment

Emissions measurement

  • Measurement methods and standards for black carbon (BC) and other emissions for aviation, marine, on-road, upstream oil and gas sectors
  • Support development of new emission certification standards
  • Ground-based and airborne monitoring of environmental and air pollutants
  • Algae cultivation using industrial CO2 emissions as feedstock and processing of algal biomass into sustainable products including biofuels

Functional materials

  • Site-built wall and floor assemblies with improved wood-based products
  • Renewable, biocompatible, biodegradable value-added nano materials
  • Solid state lighting (LED) metrology: Enabler for high energy efficiency lighting solution, to achieve significant energy savings while providing critical lighting solutions to green infrastructure

Codes and standards

  • Codes and standards advice and support: National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, setting out technical requirements for the energy efficient design and construction of new buildings
  • Development of detection (e.g. nanoparticles in water and food supply) and characterization tools, reference materials
  • Standards development assistance to facilitate environment, health and safety, and regulatory work as well as commercial development

Building envelope

  • Façade technologies to make buildings more thermally efficient while harvesting energy, managing solar load and performing requirements for natural light, durability and moisture management
  • Low energy solutions and technologies
  • Human factors research to define control strategies for improved energy efficiency and organizational productivity
  • 3D image metrology to enhance processes and minimise waste and to evaluate building structures for repair to extend service life

ICT and grid integration

  • Intelligent environmental control
  • Interactive platforms standardised communication and management solutions
  • Connecting and integrating building energy systems, vehicle charging stations and smart grid
  • Components targeting high data-density, short reach applications to alleviate congestion in access networks and data centres
  • Grid impact analysis, big data analytics (smart meters, network analysis), systems modeling and integration

NRC collaboration platform locations

Boucherville, Quebec

St. Mary's, Ontario

  • Algal carbon conversion (ACC) algal biorefinery

Vancouver, British‑Columbia

  • H2 certified gas safety labs
  • Functional materials development and characterisation
  • Electrochemical energy storage and conversion devices diagnostic and testing labs
  • Multi-scale modeling and simulation
  • NEW (CHP training and demonstration hub)

Montréal – Royalmount, Quebec

  • Biomanufacturing pilot plant
  • Biorefinery pilot plant
  • Genomics analysis

Ketch Harbour, Nova‑Scotia

  • Marine research station

Montréal, Quebec

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Lightweight materials

Halifax, Nova-Scotia

  • Photobioreactors, fermentation bioreactors, bioprocessing facilities

Ottawa, Ontario

  • Big data analytics
  • Battery safety and testing labs
  • Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre
  • Flight research lab
  • Testbed for aviation piston engine research
  • Gas turbine research facility
  • Large-scale wind tunnels
  • Syngas facility (high pressure hydrogen enriched synthesized gas)
  • Metrology and measurement facilities
  • Intelligent building operations facilities
  • Dynamic building envelope facilities
  • Canadian centre for housing technology
  • NEW (Net-zero energy-ready homes)
  • NEW Battery performance and safety evaluation research facility

Contact us

For further information on how the NRC can support your clean energy and resources needs, contact:

Elena Di Francesco, ing., MBA, Business Development Director (acting)
Telephone: 514-496-5297

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