Clean Energy Research Group

Clean Energy Research Group

Clean Energy Research Group


The Clean Energy Research Group (CERG) is a non-profit volunteer-based group associated with Simon Fraser University dedicated to studying the challenges and opportunities for the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable, clean energy systems.

CERG was created from the Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Innovation and Development lab (iiDevLab) in 2018 with initial financial support from SFU and Willow Grove Foundation. Headed by Dr. Anil (Andy) Hira at SFU, CERG members have a unique combination of technical/engineering, social science/policy, project management, and sustainable community development skills and experience. We have expertise in energy and climate change; mining and natural resource governance; technology and innovaton; and economic development policies.

Our Values

CERG does not seek revenues or profit, only cost recovery.  CERG seeks out donations and grants from diverse sources to fund its activities.  CERG does not affiliate with any company or government.  We offer a neutral expert opinion and seek to connect dots and distill lessons to improve policies as well as to help communities.  We seek to move academic and theoretical discussion into the sphere of practical action and policy decision-making and to improve public knowledge about climate change solutions.


CERG offers expert advice to policymakers and the media around the world on climate change and renewable energy and mining policy.

CERG is a collaboration space for policy discussion and working papers around renewable energy and climate change.  We particularly promote student and junior researchers and practitioners in early stage career development.  The monthly forum allows us presenters to test out their ideas with a diverse set of academic and practioner experts on climate change.  Seminars are open to everyone.  Where possible, we will use the forum as a way to develop working papers for the CERG website, designed to engage public policy through presenting research in a pragmatic and thoughtful way.  Contact Andy Hira for details.

CERG reaches out to potential global partners for collaborative research and projects.  CERG’s current focus is to examine policies and projects that promote a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.  CERG is particularly interested in working with off grid comunities, both in Canada and globally, as they often rely upon fossil fuels/biomass for electricity generation. CERG can offer short- or long-term training for professionals interested in learning more about renewable energy, from the technical, financial, policy, or social perspectives.

CERG continually seeks out grants and operating funds to support its activities.

CERG has a holistic approach to clean energy transition in remote communities that promotes local development and acts as a model for others by:

  • Examining off grid communities who have already made the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, to distill and share lessons.
  • Analyzing and weighing in on policy, and how it could better promote the transition, through comparative studies.
  • Acting as an intermediary to off grid communities interested in making the transition, but wanting advice or assistance in securing technical, financial, and/or policy support.
  • Documenting the holistic benefits of clean energy beyond emissions and finances, including spillover effects on community development, adherence to indigenous values, and promoting transition policies.


We have or can find the expertise to solve a wide array of energy- and economic-development related issues.  Here are some examples of what we can do:

  • Help communities to create an community energy and emissions plan, and tie it to economic development goals.
  • Guide communities' choices towards appropriate sustainable energy systems, including selecting the correct technology.
  • Assist communities in developing a needs assessment and financial and governance systems around energy and economic development.
  • Gathering data on communites through designing surveys, focus groups, and interview sessions to gather public opinion.
  • Help communities to create funding proposals and find possible funding sources for energy projects.
  • Gather, process, and analyse data for communities, governments, or funders to assist in planning, decision-making, and project evaluation.
  • Act as a neutral set of eyes and ears for communities seeking contractors and private sector partners to create projects.
  • Document, assess, and evaluate proposed or existing sustainable energy projects, policies, and regulatitons to provide recommendations and lessons.

CONTACT US if you are interested in exploring collaboration possibilities, or just want to learn more about our research.