Alberta is a significant centre of energy production and expertise. It is also a growing centre of clean tech expertise, focused on transforming its key energy resources and managing them more sustainably.
Reducing GHG emissions is one of the greatest challenges of our time and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is an important tool to achieve the goal.
CCUS is an important pathway for Alberta and its oil and gas industries to meet 2030 to 2050 emissions reductions targets. CCUS is also integral to unlocking the potential of low emission hydrogen production from natural gas.
We can build on our resources and experience to accelerate the development of next-generation technologies and the broad commercial deployment of CCUS. We can advance the carbon tech sector, transform the energy industry and export Alberta technologies and know-how around the world.
Alberta Innovates (including its subsidiaries InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies) and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) have invested approximately $140 million in more than 100 CCUS projects in the last 25 years. These investments have contributed to Alberta’s international leadership and reputation in carbon capture, utilization, storage, and measurement, monitoring, and verification. This includes contributions to the seminal IPCC 2005 Report whose authors were awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
This white paper focuses on the technological innovation required for broad commercial scale deployment of CCUS in Alberta. Other drivers such as public policy, tax incentives, and infrastructure requirements are not discussed here, although their support in improving the economics of CCUS projects is recognized. This paper is Alberta-focused, with consideration to Alberta’s industry structure, emission profile, climate conditions, and electric grid carbon intensity. Key learnings from Alberta Innovates’ and ERA’s CCUS projects are summarized, knowledge gaps are identified, and recommendations are made.