On November 2, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced it was dedicating up to C$280-million to programs to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and create jobs in the province. This funding creates opportunities that may be of interest to companies located or looking to invest in Alberta, especially companies working on novel emissions reduction technologies, processes and practices. It may also be of interest to small and medium-scale businesses looking to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities.
The funding comes from both the federal and provincial governments and will support the following three programs run by Emissions Reduction Alberta:
The Shovel-Ready Challenge
The Energy Savings for Business Program
The Partnership Intake Program
THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDING
The provincial government is supplying C$180-million for these projects from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction fund. This fund is financed by compliance payments made by large industrial emitters as part of the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction System. The remaining C$100-million is being supplied by the federal government under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, which requires that eligible projects directly create demonstrable GHG reductions by 2030.
THE SHOVEL-READY CHALLENGE
This program will use up to C$150-million to fund field piloting, commercial demonstration and first-of-kind commercial implementation of emissions reduction projects. Expressions of interest for the Shovel-Ready Challenge are open now and close Tuesday, December 22, 2020. This call is open to new builds, retrofits and projects that have been previously initiated but have subsequently stalled due to the current economic situation. Funding will be focused on but not limited to the following areas:
Low-carbon products (e.g., materials, chemicals, fuels and secondary products)
Novel processes for energy production, processing, petrochemical manufacturing, etc.
Waste-to-value and waste energy utilization
Novel low-emitting electricity generation
Low-carbon industrial heat
Digital optimization and automation
Carbon capture, utilization and sequestration
Methane emissions management (from fossil and biological sources)
Optimization of agriculture and forestry operations
Enhancement of natural GHG sinks
Novel fuel-switching opportunities (e.g., electrification, hydrogen, renewable fuels, etc.)
Mobility and transportation solutions (e.g., industrial, freight, rail and aviation)
Work is expected to commence on selected projects by mid-2021.
The minimum funding request per project is C$2-million, and the
maximum is C$15-million. These funds will be provided only on a
one-to-one matching basis with unencumbered cash contributions from
the project applicant. Lead applicants can be technology
developers, industry operators, industrial associations, small and
medium-sized enterprises, municipalities, and others; and
collaboration is encouraged. The lead applicant does not need to be
located in Alberta. The project must be demonstrated or implemented
in Alberta, however, and the host site must be a significant
partner in the project. Expressions of interest will be evaluated
based on the merits of the opportunity, the quality of the project
implementation plan and the potential for GHG reductions and
economic benefits (see Emissions Reduction Alberta, Shovel Ready
Challenge: Call for Expressions of Interest Guidelines).
Emissions Reduction Alberta hosted an informational webinar on the Shovel-Ready Challenge on November 12, 2020. Further details can be found on the Emissions Reduction Alberta website.
The ENERGY SAVINGS FOR BUSINESS PROGRAM
This program will provide up to C$55-million to small and medium-scale businesses for quickly achievable energy-saving retrofits and upgrades for facilities located in Alberta. Applications for this program are expected to open in January 2021 and will be accepted for six to 12 months. Funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and partially cover costs of eligible projects. Up to C$250,000 will be available per project to a maximum of C$500,000 per company. Eligible projects could include but are not limited to:
HVAC projects, including the installation of efficient boilers, hot-water tanks, furnaces and pipe insulation
Upgrades to fan and pump motors, including the installation of variable frequency drive units
Installation of electronic building-automation systems to control temperature, airflow and even lighting across the facility
Lighting projects, including replacement of outdated lighting systems, addition of automation, etc.
Installation of alternate on-site power sources such as solar photovoltaic and combined heat and power systems
Measures specific to industry/facility needs (e.g., restaurants, manufacturing, etc.)
Insulation, building envelope or air sealing
Emissions Reduction Alberta will host an informational webinar on the Energy Savings for Business Program on November 25, 2020. Further details can be found on the Emissions Reduction Alberta website.
THE PARTNERSHIP INTAKE PROGRAM
This program will direct up to C$75-million to projects referred from specific organizations identified by Emissions Reduction Alberta as trusted partners. These trusted partners include universities, government agencies, and major research and development institutions. The Partnership Intake Program aims to act as a catalyst to de-risk and deploy novel technology solutions, including in energy efficiency, hydrogen, geothermal, natural gas and nature-based solutions. In the past, the program has supported carbon capture, utilization and sequestration projects; petrochemicals projects; biofuels and biomass projects; and innovation in the oil and gas industry. Further details can be found on the Emissions Reduction Alberta website.
According to the Government of Alberta, these three programs will support around 5,000 jobs and cut an estimated 13 million tonnes of GHG emissions by 2030. Collectively, they represent an important opportunity for companies and facilities looking to invest in innovation and efficiency in Alberta.
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