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Philippe A. Tanguy

Polytechnique Montreal

Tanguy_Bild_webProf Philippe A. Tanguy is the President of Polytechnique Montreal, the largest technological university in Canada, since January 2018. Between 2009 and 2017, he worked for the international energy company Total in France and Germany, serving in several top R&D executive positions. His activities focused on the strengthening of corporate science policy including open innovation, the internationalization of research expertise sourcing, and the establishment of links with public research globally. He also promoted strongly the development of clean energy pathways and supporting technologies in advanced materials, new processes, and system analysis. Prior to this, Prof Tanguy had pursued a 25-year academic career in several universities in Canada, including 15 years as an industrial research chairholder and head of a R&D center in process engineering at Polytechnique Montreal. He is presently the Chairman of the World Council of Chemical Engineering, a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, a fellow and founding member of the Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Technologies of Morocco, and an honorary fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (UK). Prof Tanguy‘s education background includes a doctorate degree in physics, a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, an industrial post-doctoral year experience for GE Canada and a managerial training at the MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Prof Tanguy is a registered engineer in the Province of Québec.

The Challenges of the Electrification of the Energy System


The Climate Paris Agreement calls for a radical change to transform the present energy system into a more sustainable mix based on renewable energy sources, an increase of the system efficiency and energy sobriety, in association with greenhouse gas mitigation measures. The electrification of the energy system is a necessary step to achieve such a paradigm shift. The development of technological innovation in power generation - increasingly decentralized - transmission and distribution, transportation and mobility, and manufacturing (including the chemical industry), helped by a massive deployment of digital technologies will be the key enablers. It is also expected that hydrogen (and hydrogenated compounds) will play a major role due its capacity to serve as an energy carrier and a long-term energy storage medium well adapted to renewable power generation. It is clear, however, that depending on the energy applications considered, the degree of technological maturity of possible solutions varies significantly, as well as their capacity for practical deployment at large scale. Technology costs and acceptance in populated areas are major issues to tackle. The trajectory towards a fully electrified energy system will be country-specific as it depends on the local available resources, the system in place (energy mix, infrastructure, typology of consumption) and the societal appetite. To embark on this journey, there is not a single approach. A solution is devised in each case with long-term objectives, roadmaps and milestones, and financial scenarios. The presentation will highlight some key challenges and the hurdles to overcome that will make the electrification of the energy system a success.