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Accelerating the global shift to clean energy

Accelerating Community Energy Transformation (ACET) is a multi-partner research initiative helping small- to-mid-sized communities achieve their unique clean-energy systems goals.

From harvesting offshore wind, tidal and solar energy to innovative low-carbon financing and governance models, ACET is integrating breakthrough renewable energy technologies and solutions that will help Canada get to net zero emissions—one community at a time.

Graphic composite featuring wind bouy in coastal waters

partners, including 5 First Nations


years of community-based energy transition projects


interdisciplinary areas of expertise

Communities as catalysts

Three key aspects of ACET will drive transformational change:

  • unique bottom-up approach to net-zero objectives through community engaged action and leadership
  • innovative place-based social, policy and economic development
  • translating learnings to community networks around the world

Project news

Learn how the ACET project is making a difference in mitigating the impacts of climate change in our communities.

Participants of the Community Energy Systems Course in Old Crow, Yukon, March 2023. Participants stand next to rows of solar panels surrounded by snow.

One giant leap closer to net zero

Learn how ACET will support clean energy transformations in remote and Indigenous communities.

Vuntut Gwitchin Government and YukonU train Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation citizens on community energy systems in Old Crow.

Photo credit: Yukon University

Prototype tidal electricity generator in the water

Clean Energy Future

$2m to implement and assess tidal and solar energy at the Blind Channel Test Centre.

Brad Buckham on boat with buoy

Nootka Island wave energy project

$1m from the TD Ready Challenge to install wave energy system in community at Yuquot.

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems at the University of Victoria (IESVic)

Accelerating Community Energy Transformation (ACET) is an initiative of the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems at the University of Victoria (IESVic). For more than 30 years, IESVic has developed and advanced the most innovative interdisciplinary clean energy technologies. Their mission is to chart feasible pathways to sustainable energy systems through the development of new technologies, processes, and systems.

Strategic research areas

Low-carbon and offshore renewable energy tech

Harness, use and store renewables including wave, tidal, hydrogen and offshore wind energy

Distributed systems and hybrid microgrids

Develop advanced microgrid controls, systems integration and management

Green hydrogen and e-fuels

Develop low-cost, safe and clean hydrogen and other e-fuel vectors

Business & finance innovation

Innovate finance and business models, and explore social enterprise potential

Integrated energy systems

Complex systems, place-based transitions, worldviews, policy interactions, Indigeneity

Scale-up and acceleration

Create transformation strategies scalable to communities worldwide

Meet the ACET team

Lead investigators

Curran Crawford

Dr. Curran Crawford

ACET Lead UVic Faculty of Engineering & Computer Science

Curran Crawford’s research develops and applies computational tools to optimize renewable energy system designs and operations. Application areas include offshore wind and tidal energy, electrified transportation, e-fuels production and carbon capture and sequestration, in partnership with communities and industry, and together with researchers outside engineering.

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic)

Brad Buckham

Dr. Brad Buckham

UVic Faculty of Engineering & Computer Science

Brad Buckham improves designs and operating strategies for offshore technologies using computer simulations. As director of the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery, he provides international leadership in the study of critical marine energy issues, human dimensions of energy, education and training, and works closely with industry, not-for-profits, and government. His current work includes wave and tidal energy innovations in communities.

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic)

Ned Dijali

Dr. Ned Djilali

UVic Faculty of Engineering & Computer Science

Ned Djilali’s work in fuel cell science and technology has shaped the field and includes pioneering computational modeling and design methods that have been adopted by industry. His research program addresses the challenges of large-scale integration of renewable energy, identifies long term pathways for energy and water sustainability, and informs policy.

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic)

Tamara Krawchenko

Dr. Tamara Krawchenko

UVic Faculty of Human & Social Development

Tamara Krawchenko specializes in comparative public policy and territorial development. Her scholarship focusses on understanding local/regional assets, challenges and opportunities, and supporting communities to meet their development goals. She has led international research programs on sustainability transitions, urban and rural development, Indigenous economies, and land use governance.

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic)

Basma Majerbi

Dr. Basma Majerbi

UVic Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

Basma Majerbi’s research focuses on climate-related financial risks and opportunities and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions. She consults with the International Monetary Fund and leads a multi-disciplinary Impact Investing Hub that accelerates investment in clean technology and helps SMEs and investors adopt ESG principles and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic)

Dr. Madeleine McPherson

UVic Faculty of Engineering & Computer Science

Madeleine McPherson’s expertise lies in sustainable energy systems integration and transitions. She is the co-founder of the Energy Modelling Hub, which convenes modellers and decision makers to support effective policy. Her research focuses on questions relating to variable renewable energy integration, demand response initiatives, utility-scale and behind-the-meter storage technologies, and integrating transport, power, buildings and water systems.

Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic)

Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

UVic Faculty of Human & Social Development

Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) specializes in Indigenous law, treaty politics and governance. She is committed to the resurgence of Indigenous legal traditions and institutions that can enable the restoration of relational ways of living, accounting for human responsibilities to the land, waters and other than human relatives. Her strengths also lie in community-engaged research methods and research implementation in Indigenous governance.

Centre for Indigenous Research & Community-Led Engagement

Naoko Ellis

Dr. Naoko Ellis

The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Applied Science

Naoko Ellis is a Professor in the UBC Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and an Associate Director at the UBC Clean Energy Research Centre. Her research spans from technical solutions around clean energy to understanding complexities around collaborative and sustainability education. She is engaged in transdisciplinary initiatives around the climate emergency and is establishing the Systems Beings Lab to foster systems perspectives to tackle complex challenges.

Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC)

Thomas Homer Dixon

Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon

Royal Roads University, School of Environment & Sustainability

Thomas Homer-Dixon is an adjunct professor with the School of Environment and Sustainability and the founder and director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University. His research is focused on threats to global security in the 21st century, including economic instability, climate change, and energy scarcity and on how people, organizations, and societies can better resolve their conflicts and innovate in response to complex problems.

Cascade Institute

Bruno Pollet

Dr. Bruno Pollet

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Physics

Bruno G. Pollet is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR). He is also Deputy Director of the UQTR Research Hydrogen Institute (HRI) and President of the Green Hydrogen Division of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE). His research covers a wide range of areas from the development of novel materials for low-temperature fuel cells and water electrolyzers, hydrogen production from pure, waste and saline waters, as well as oxygenated solutions and CO2-saturated waters to fuel cell and electrolyzer systems, demonstrators and prototypes.

Hydrogen Research Institute (HRI)

Michael Ross

Dr. Michael Ross

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Northern Energy Innovation Yukon University

Michael Ross’ research program is governed and directed by northern electric power utilities, and in partnership with northern communities and Indigenous governments. His research focuses on integrating a high penetration of renewable generation in remote communities, diesel efficiencies, demand-side management, and microgrids as they pertain to northern and remote electric power systems. 

YukonU Research Centre

Academic partners

Royal Roads University logo
Logo of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Logo of University of British Columbia
Yukon University logo

  • Council of the Haida Nation
  • Malahat First Nation
  • Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation
  • Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Government
  • Dease River Development Corporation

  • Barkley Project Group Ltd.
  • BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy
  • BC Hydro
  • BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
  • BC Sustainable Energy Association
  • Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS)
  • Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST)
  • South Island Prosperity Partnership
  • Indigenous Prosperity Centre
  • Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada Ltd.
  • Scale Collaborative
  • Capital Regional District (Greater Victoria)
  • City of Victoria
  • City of Saanich
  • Yukon Government
  • Yukon Energy Corporation
  • ATCO Electric Yukon

  • Alacrity
  • Foresight Canada
  • BMT
  • Pembina Institute
  • Marine Renewables Canada
  • Ocean Networks Canada (ONC)

  • University of Rhode Island (US)
  • Pacific Marine Energy Center (US)
  • Sustainable Marine Energy (UK)
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria)
  • Green Digital Finance Alliance (Switzerland)
  • Social Ocean Energy Project (Switzerland)
  • CorPower Ocean (Sweden)
  • Waves4Power (Sweden)
Supported by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund