Alberta’s climate fund has awarded a C$15 million ($10.9 million) grant to a Quebec-based company to advance the commercial deployment of its low-cost carbon capture and storage technology in the Canadian oil sands, the firms announced on Tuesday.
The Climate Change Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC), which funds CO2-cutting projects using proceeds from Alberta’s nine-year old carbon levy, awarded the cash to Quebec City’s CO2 Solutions to help it roll-out its enzyme-driven CCS technology in the western province.
A demonstration plant built by CO2 Solutions in Quebec and verified by an independent third party has shown that the technology can capture CO2 at a cost of C$28/tonne ($20.30) and at a rate of 1,250 tonnes/day.
“This grant means we can accelerate the scale-up of our technology and make an impact towards the reduction of GHG emissions and the beneficial reuse of CO2. Importantly, the low-cost nature of our technology can help industry achieve this without affecting its ability to compete,” said CO2 Solutions president and CEO Evan Price.
The CCEMC in 2014 first granted CO2 Solutions $500,000 to develop the technology.
Canada has become a major testing centre for CCS, with one of the first commercial-scale projects opening in Saskatchewan in 2014.
Up to 28 million tonnes of CO2 was captured by 15 operational CCS plants worldwide last year, according to an annual report from the Global CCS Institute published last November.
But CCS is struggling to gain a foothold, with less than $20 billion invested since 2007. Renewable power, on the other hand, has received around 100 times that over the same timeframe, said Brad Page, CEO of the Global CCS institute.
ALBERTA CLIMATE OFFICE
Separately, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on Tuesday announced the creation of a climate change office to help implement the province’s low-carbon policies.
“The level of ambition that was announced by the government in November does require some support to it,” said Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.
The office will be staffed by a group who are already working on climate change issues within the environment ministry, and they will report to Phillips.
Alberta last year announced a revamped climate change strategy which includes an economy-wide carbon tax, the phasing-out of coal-fired power, and targets for more renewable energy.
The office will receive no additional funding, though it could see more cash after Alberta’s wider carbon tax is introduced in 2017, Phillips said.
By Mike Szabo – email@example.com