Evaluation of the Clean Energy Systems for Industry (CESI) Sub-Activity: Public Release of the Evaluation Report

Published on April 2 2013

The report on the Evaluation of the Clean Energy Systems for Industry (CESI) Sub-Activity – a project conducted in 2012 by Science-Metrix for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) – is now available online.

The CESI Sub-Activity aims to support research and development (R&D) to develop cross-cutting technologies applicable to several industrial sectors. The science & technology (S&T) research projects are undertaken in federal laboratories in concert with industry. These projects seek to improve and develop industrial processes and technologies that will reduce industrial energy intensities and lower greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air contaminants.

All CESI projects were funded through one of the following three components, each of which has a slightly different research focus:

  • the Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD) – ongoing program;
  • the Climate Change Technology Innovation Initiative (CCTII) – ended in 2008; and
  • the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative (ecoETI) – ended in 2011.

Science-Metrix was involved in this evaluation project starting with the evaluation assessment stage. Working with NRCan, we designed a tailored evaluation approach that examined the range of knowledge and S&T activities under evaluation. This approach met the requirement to evaluate several issues relating to the relevance and the performance of the CESI Sub-Activity (2006/07 to 2010/11).

The evaluation drew on multiple lines of evidence, including a document review, interviews with several stakeholder groups, and eight project reviews.

From a relevance perspective, a federally funded, clean energy R&D initiative is an important part of the government’s ability to advance promising technologies and strengthen Canada’s technological and economic competitiveness. The evaluation confirmed the relevance of the CESI Sub-Activity as it produced several positive results and notable project-level outcomes, such as an expanded knowledge base on energy efficiency. There was also evidence of emissions reductions from improved efficiency among partners who have adopted CESI recommendations and are benefitting from increased energy savings. The relevance of the Sub-Activity was also supported by the national need to remain competitive in the energy field through continued public-private S&T partnerships. The evaluation found that the CESI Sub-Activity was aligned with the current government strategy on curtailing emissions.

The evaluation concluded that, despite project-level successes, at the program level the CES Sub-Activity as currently designed had a low likelihood of producing impacts related to the intended outcome of industry adoption of new or improved CESI-developed technologies because it lacks a clear diffusion, outreach and knowledge transfer strategy. Consequently, the CESI Sub-Activity was unable to foster its central aims of industry-wide emissions/energy reductions, competitiveness, or improved industrial capacity through broad awareness.

The evaluation made four recommendations. Given the challenges the CESI Sub-Activity has experienced in achieving its energy efficiency outcomes, the first recommendation followed the suggestion that a fundamental review of the program should be undertaken. The remaining three recommendations were meant to be taken under advisement in the review of the CESI Sub-Activity.

Read the report

  • Evaluation of the Clean Energy Systems for Industry (CESI) Sub-Activity
    Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

    [HTML] - Evaluation report and Management Response