EDMONTON, AB – Oil sands innovators who can help industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the cost competitiveness of bitumen production can now access $50 million through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)’s Oil Sands Innovation Challenge. Funding proposal submissions are due September 7, 2017, at 5 p.m. MDT.
“ERA knows that improving both environmental and cost competitiveness is key to the continued success of Alberta’s energy sector,” said ERA CEO Steve MacDonald. “We have worked with our industry partners to identify the gaps that technology can close, and developed this funding opportunity to help accelerate the demonstration, scale-up and deployment of the most promising solutions.”
This funding opportunity supports the recommendations from the Oil Sands Advisory Group’s (OSAG) first report to government. ERA worked closely with the Government of Alberta, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and others to develop the ERA Oil Sands Innovation Challenge.
“Oil sands innovation was crucial in the past and remains key to Alberta’s economic future,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office. “Improvements in technology and efficiency will lead to made-in-Alberta solutions that protect jobs, our environment, and set Alberta up for a healthy, prosperous future.”
“Albertans were the ones who determined how to get the oil out of the sand and made-in-Alberta innovation is going to get the carbon out of the barrel,” said Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Alberta Minister of Energy. “This is a timely investment that will pay huge dividends in strengthening our province’s position as a leader in responsible energy development.”
The focus of the ERA Oil Sands Innovation Challenge is on breakthrough technologies for surface mining as well as in situ operations that are now ready to go to a field pilot, demonstration or first-of-kind deployment. The intent is to reduce both greenhouse gases and costs by investing in opportunities including alternative steam generation methods, advanced reservoir production technologies and novel surface mining processes.
“We know that by focusing on a challenge, and bringing the best minds together to solve that challenge, we can find solutions faster,” said COSIA CEO Dan Wicklum. “Opportunities like ERA’s Oil Sands Innovation Challenge create the kind of innovation stimulus and focused determination that will get us to our emissions reduction goals sooner and reinforces Alberta and the oil sands as leaders in low carbon innovation.”
ERA will leverage its $50 million in funding. Industry and other partners will be required to at least match this commitment, creating the opportunity for over $100 million in combined new investment.
The ERA Oil Sands Innovation Challenge will close September 7, 2017. Additional details on the funding opportunity are available on the ERA website.
ERA works with industry, government and the innovation community to invest in and advance the solutions Alberta needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a stronger, more diversified economy. To date, ERA has committed to more than $340 million in funding to over 120 projects with a total value of over $2.3 billion.
The Province of Alberta provides grants to ERA from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund to enable ERA to fulfil its mandate.