Major funding for diversified, low-carbon economy
Alberta’s industry leaders will create new jobs, diversify the economy and reduce carbon pollution with $1.4 billion, over seven years, for innovation projects funded by the Climate Leadership Plan.
“Alberta’s energy industry is one of the most responsible in the world. We are proud to work with our energy sector to take on the challenges of the 21st century. Together with these investments, we will create the next generation of made-in-Alberta technology to help our energy industry attract investment, create more good jobs and reduce emissions.”
“Albertans have a proud history of energy innovation. These investments will ensure we continue to be the energy and innovation leader the world needs as it transitions to a low-carbon economy. When investors are looking for new and better ways to produce energy, we want them to look to Alberta.”
“Our made-in-Alberta Climate Leadership Plan is giving Albertans and Albertan businesses the resources they need to be resilient and successful. By reinvesting revenue from the carbon levy, we’re helping business leapfrog to low-carbon, more efficient technologies so that Alberta remains an energy leader and provides Albertans with good jobs and opportunities.”
The innovation funding has five categories:
- $440 million for oil sands innovation to help companies increase production and reduce emissions while adjusting to improved rules for large emitters that will be released later this week by Minister Phillips.
- $225 million for innovation projects across sectors that support research, commercialization and investment in new technologies that reduce emissions.
- $240 million for industrial energy-efficiency projects that help companies reduce emissions and costs by upgrading equipment or facilities to lower energy use. Support will be available for large industrial, agricultural and manufacturing operations.
- $63 million in grants for bioenergy projects, including biodiesel and ethanol – as well biomass-based electricity generation.
- $400 million in loan guarantees to support investment in efficiency and renewable energy measures to reduce risk for financial institutions and make it easier for companies to invest.
These investments build on the legacy of former premier Peter Lougheed’s support for innovation and technology that helped develop steam-assisted gravity access to oil sands without excavation or tailings ponds. The new funds will extend that legacy to the next generation of technology.
“Alberta manufacturers face stiff global competition. This funding will help manufacturers take the next step in reducing emissions while, at the same time, improving productivity and competitiveness. This program will return carbon levy dollars to manufacturers so they can better compete on the global stage and continue to diversify the Alberta economy. The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) welcomes this new initiative.”
“The Alberta Bioenergy Producers Group is encouraged by today’s announcement to support innovation and bioenergy production in the province. Alberta’s bioenergy producers are innovation leaders, with early investments across the province in clean, renewable energy production from sustainable forestry, agricultural and waste resources. ABPG looks forward to ongoing collaboration with the province to build a sustainable, resilient bioenergy sector as part of Alberta’s transition to a lower carbon economy.”
The new funding is part of Alberta’s response to recommendations from the Climate Technology Task Force and the Oil Sands Advisory Group – to expand and diversify markets available to Alberta energy producers and help ensure they continue to be global innovation leaders.
Innovation fund initiatives are divided into five categories:
Oil sands innovation fund: $440 million
- Alberta will improve the rules governing large emitters (announcement coming later this week). These improvements will help update and upgrade facilities and processes, in turn reducing emissions. For some oil sands companies, making these changes will take time and the government is helping companies adjust through the oil sands innovation fund.
- Funding will start at $40 million a year in 2019-20, rising to $80 million in 2020-21 through 2024-25.
Innovation across sectors: $225 million
The innovation stream includes funding to support research, development and investment in new technologies that reduce industrial carbon emissions in two program areas.
- Emissions Reductions Alberta ($80 million): a continuation of funding for innovation grants.
- Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework ($145 million): this new fund, administered through the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Alberta Innovates, will help manage government investments in research, innovation and technology and help commercialize these products.
Industrial Energy Efficiency: $240 million
The government is introducing a suite of measures to lower emissions and reduce costs in the commercial and industrial sector. This includes equipment and facility upgrades to lower energy use. It will also be available for energy audits and energy management systems to help further reduce on-site emissions. Funds will not be limited to oil and gas facilities. Large agricultural and manufacturing operations will also be eligible, as will institutions, commercial facilities and not-for-profit organizations that meet the criteria.
Bioenergy: $63 million
Alberta has an existing Bioenergy Producer Program, which will be adjusted to provide grants only to dedicated biofuel-producing facilities. These include:
- Liquid biofuels such as biodiesel, ethanol and pyrolysis oil.
- Biogas electricity production from farm-based anaerobic digesters.
- Electricity produced from wood by-products (biomass).
Green loan guarantees: $400 million
The government will underwrite commercial loans for qualified organizations that want to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. These green loans help encourage additional investment in projects that reduce emissions, while also reducing lending risks for financial institutions and potentially lowering interest costs.
The bulk of the funding comes from the Climate Leadership Plan, which recycles carbon levies back into Alberta industries to help them compete and grow our modern economy.