Sustainable and Renewable Energy (for Public Policy and Statistics)

Most databases, whether they are a library catalogue or a specialized database, allow you to search for books, journal articles, and more, with a single search.  You can then narrow your results with filters, or more advanced search options.

  • Some suggested subject headings or keyword search terms:
    • energy
    • policy
    • conservation
    • development
    • renewable
    • solar
    • water
    • wind
    • alternative
    • biofuels
    • power
    • fossil fuel
  • Once you've decided which terms are the most useful for your search, combine them in a boolean search. For example:
    • 'wind energy' AND canad* AND policy
      • the quotes will keep the words together
      • the * will look for alternate endings
      • AND/OR will modify a component to narrow or expand your results
  • Once you see your search results, some filters to consider applying are:  books, or Journals, or Scholarly and/or Peer Review
    • You can then narrow your search further by:  Publication Date or Discipline, or Subject, etc.
  • watch for any other words that are being used in your results, for example, 'water power' may be more common than 'tidal power', search both

Once you've used the Search strategies, and tried Databases for finding journal articles above, you may want to see what government, think tanks and other agencies are doing within your subject area.

Government Information 

Government Information custom search will search only government agencies. Filter your search by geographic area (try searching multiple regions for your topic, including Intergovernmental Organizations). Look  at which agencies are doing research for your topic, going directly to the agency website may offer further areas for investigation. Don't forget to search for countries that have similar circumstances - they may be doing relevant work (eg. Indigenous, health care, etc.).

Comprehensive Energy Use Database - an overview of sectoral energy markets in Canada and in each region of the country

Think Tanks

  • Think Tank Search (Harvard University custom search) – think tanks can give an appreciation of government action or inaction in an area
  • findpolicy – results from 17 leading think tanks working on foreign policy, in the US and Europe

Public Policy Collections

  • Canadian Public Documents Collection - Curated collection of monograph publications from Canadian research institutes, government agencies and university centres working in the area of Canadian public policy, health and medical research. 
  • Policy File Index - Indexes research on U.S. public policy with content from public policy think tanks, university research programs, research organizations, etc.
  • Conference Board of Canada eLibrary - Browse by topic, select Energy, Environment and Transportation Policy

Industry Associations

Look for an industry association by doing a Google search such as solar energy association or sustainable energy association.   (eg. Canada For Renewable Energy Alternatives, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association)         

Other sources of information relating to energy resource issues

Look for Municipal websites or groups of municipalities that have formed organizations for a common interest, some examples:



What is the Difference Between Data and Statistics?

Data are the raw materials out of which statistics are produced, usually available as digital files for manipulation in statistical software.  Statistics are facts or figures that tend to be aggregate counts, totals, sums, or averages.




Content last reviewed: March 26, 2019