Alberta Channels Emission Reduction Funds to CCUS Efforts
The Alberta government said September 22 it will channel some of the C$750mn (US$564mn) in its Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (Tier) fund into carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) initiatives.
The latest investment from Tier - about $90mn - is a direct response to the economic havoc created by the Covid-19 pandemic, premier Jason Kenney said. Overall, investments from Tier are expected to support 3,400 jobs directly, and when coupled with funding from industry and other sources - which could reach $1.9bn - another 5,300 jobs will be supported.
“These projects will create jobs, grow our economy and help the environment,” Kenney said. “That’s why we created the Tier program – to show the world that Alberta is an environmental leader while making our economy more competitive.”
The most recent Tier funding includes $80mn to Alberta’s new Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (IEE CCUS) grant program, which will help fund energy efficiency and CCUS projects by the province’s industrial sector. The program could create hundreds of jobs and reduce emissions by 300,000 metric tons per year, depending on the types of projects that are supported.
The grant program is targeted to Alberta’s large final emitters – those companies that are regulated, or eligible to be regulated, under the Tier program and that emit 100,000 metric tons/yr of CO2 equivalent.
Successful projects will be chosen through a competitive evaluation process, and will be eligible to receive up to 75% of project costs, to a maximum of $20mn. The deadline to apply is October 30.
Another $9.5mn of Tier funds will be allocated to Emissions Reduction Alberta (Era) to support several CCUS projects that are already creating jobs and reducing emissions.
Among these, Carbon Corp will receive $3mn for its carbon nanotube technology, which has the potential to use recycled CO2 to produce cheaper, more sustainable carbon nanotubes that can then be used to reduce the amount of cement in concrete. The technology is currently being tested at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre in Calgary.
Carbon Upcycling Technologies, a Calgary-based start-up that uses captured CO2 to enhance materials like concrete, plastic and batteries, will receive $1.5mn for testing of the technology, also now underway at the carbon conversion technology centre.
And $5mn will be directed to Accelerating CCS Technologies, a global collaborative of 17 countries coordinated by the Research Council of Norway. Alberta is the only sub-national jurisdiction involved in funding the $50mn international partnership.
“We need a global, collective effort to accelerate technologies that cost-effectively capture carbon dioxide,” Era CEO Steve MacDonald said. “This is technology that can help us increase the value of our natural resources and decarbonise energy – Alberta is helping to develop the solutions the world needs.”
Since 2009, Era has committed $607mn to 183 projects worth an estimated $4.1bn. Over the next decade, these projects are estimated to deliver cumulative CO2 emissions reductions of nearly 35mn metric tons.