Government of Alberta News Release: Jobs for Alberta, innovative tech for the world

Alberta’s government is spending dollars from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund on a series of programs that will get Albertans back to work and reduce emissions.

TIER is funded by large industry. The latest TIER investment will support 3,400 jobs on its own and up to 8,700 jobs when investments from industry and other funding sources are included.

This investment is in direct response to the unprecedented economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices, supporting a suite of programs that will create thousands of jobs and help industry reduce emissions.

“These projects will create jobs, grow our economy and help the environment. That’s why we created the TIER program – to show the world that Alberta is an environmental leader while making our economy more competitive.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

Alberta’s government will invest up to $750 million from the TIER fund and other public funding. This investment will be more than doubled by additional dollars from industry and other sectors, leading to more than $1.9 billion in total funding.

“We’ll stand by our industries and workers and we won’t leave our resources in the ground, as some have suggested we do. There is a better way. Alberta is a province of innovators who are helping our world-class energy industry reduce emissions while creating jobs and getting Albertans back to work. This money from Alberta’s TIER program will get almost 9,000 Albertans working again. And, the technology that they develop will not only make life better for Albertans, but will help the world reduce emissions.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

Carbon capture, utilization and storage

Carbon capture, utilization and storage is an example of the technology the TIER fund is supporting. This technology can capture, use and store up to 90 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in industrial activities, preventing those emissions from entering the atmosphere. Alberta is already a leader in this area, having taken considerable steps with commercial-scale funding, regulatory enhancements, and knowledge sharing. Government’s latest TIER investment keeps this momentum going.

New funding for industry

This TIER funding includes $80 million for Alberta’s new Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (IEE CCUS) Grant Program. This program offers funding for industrial energy efficiency and carbon capture, utilization and storage projects. It will help Alberta’s industries reduce emissions, increase competitiveness, save money and improve energy efficiency through technology and equipment upgrades. The program is estimated to create hundreds of jobs and could reduce about 300,000 tonnes of emissions per year, depending on the types of projects that are submitted.

Successful projects will be chosen through a competitive evaluation process. Eligibility details follow:

  • The IEE CCUS program is for improvements at facilities that are regulated, or eligible to be regulated, by the TIER regulation.
  • Successful applicants are eligible to receive up to 75 per cent of project costs, up to a maximum of $20 million. 
  • There is no minimum or maximum total project cost eligibility requirement.
  • Existing projects are eligible; however, grant funding cannot be used toward retroactive project costs.
  • The deadline to apply is Oct. 30.

More information, including application forms and evaluation criteria, are on the IEE CCUS website.

“Capital Power is dedicated to advancing low-carbon solutions, including carbon conversion, to power a sustainable future for all. The province’s support for this kind of critical technology is key to ensuring our energy system can continue to provide reliable, affordable power while lowering emissions and companies like Capital Power can become carbon neutral by 2050. These funding announcements, including the enhancements to the TIER program, demonstrate Alberta’s commitment to innovation, collaboration and creating a strong, thriving and healthy future for all who live, work and do business in this province.”

Brian Vaasjo, president and chief executive officer, Capital Power

“As a global leader in sustainable agriculture, Nutrien is actively investing to ensure we can produce more food with less natural resources and reduce our carbon footprint. Initiatives supported by the Government of Alberta will act as an additional driver in this effort, delivering jobs and supporting the provincial economy, while at the same time positively impacting the environment.”

Chuck Magro, president and CEO, Nutrien

“We strongly support the Alberta government’s strategic investments in emissions reduction technology. By working together, these investments will support Alberta job creation and economic activity, improve energy efficiency, and reduce GHG emissions. Through technology and innovation, we are on a path to continue delivering game-changing environmental performance while contributing to global GHG reductions.”

Tim McKay, president, Canadian Natural Resources Limited

“As a Responsible Care company with deep roots in Alberta and a firm commitment to sustainable growth, NOVA Chemicals knows investment and positive environmental outcomes go hand in hand. This is an investment in Alberta’s future. We applaud the Alberta government for reinvesting GHG funds that directly benefit the environment while creating quality jobs and economic activity that will greatly enhance Alberta’s ability to compete for years to come.”

Arnel Santos, senior vice-president of operations and innovation, NOVA Chemicals

Emissions Reduction Alberta

The TIER fund investment also includes $9.5 million through Emissions Reduction Alberta to support several carbon capture, utilization and storage projects that are creating jobs and reducing emissions, including:

  • $3 million for Carbon Corp’s carbon nanotube technology (CNT), which is the strongest material known to humans. Carbon Corp’s CNT process has the potential to produce cheaper, more sustainable, higher-quality carbon nanotubes made of recycled carbon dioxide. The company’s project aims to reduce the amount of cement in concrete, making it lighter, stronger, and less emissions intensive. This technology is being tested at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre in Calgary. 
  • $1.5 million for Carbon Upcycling Technologies, a Calgary-based startup that uses captured carbon dioxide to enhance materials like concrete, plastic and batteries. Carbon Upcycling Technologies is one of the top carbon utilization companies in the world. This technology is also being tested at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre in Calgary.
  • $5 million toward Accelerating CCS Technologies, a collaboration between 17 countries coordinated by the Research Council of Norway. The goal is to forward calls for proposals that address environmental, technological, social and economic challenges by accelerating cost-effective CCUS technology. Alberta is the only subnational representative involved in funding this $50-million international partnership.

“We need a global, collective effort to accelerate technologies that cost-effectively capture carbon dioxide. Investments and partnerships like these are critical to helping Alberta leverage its own investments in CCUS. This is technology that can help us increase the value of our natural resources and decarbonize energy – Alberta is helping to develop the solutions the world needs.”

Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

“Provincial government funding through ERA has played a supporting role in our work since the beginning. As a five-year-old company, we have been able to engage major cement companies from around the world, including Cemex, Argos, and Burnco in this project – showcasing the wide acceptance of the technology’s interest with sophisticated players in the global construction industry. This support is critical for us to live up to our motto: to use today’s waste to build the world of tomorrow.”

Apoorv Sinha, president and CEO, Carbon Upcycling Technologies

“While lots of processes look to produce less CO2, C2CNT can erase a significant portion of modern society’s contribution to climate change. This technology presents an opportunity to create a high-value product that is made at low cost to facilitate GHG removal. The innovation aims to reverse the buildup of GHGs in the atmosphere by turning it into a useful, valuable resource; the province’s support through ERA will go a long way in meeting this goal.”

Stuart Licht, founder, C2CNT

“The climate issue is something we need a global approach to. The knowledge that Alberta has gained in CCUS is highly acknowledged and serves our ambition – to make CCUS a commercially viable climate mitigation technology. We trust that we will develop the CCUS future to the best for all parties by funding high-quality projects and an open approach for knowledge sharing.”

Ragnhild Rønneberg, coordinator, Accelerating CCS Technologies Research Council of Norway

“Alberta has undertaken some extraordinary things in the CCUS space, one of the most promising being clean energy technologies. Welcoming them into this international collaboration opens up a strong pipeline of technology that will be key to future economic and environmental successes.”

Brian Allison, head of CCUS research and development and international policy, United Kingdom Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

Quick facts
  • TIER helps industrial facilities, which account for more than 65 per cent of Alberta’s total emissions, find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology to save money and stay competitive.
  • Industries can pay into a TIER fund as a compliance option under the TIER regulation. The TIER fund is being reinvested into programs that will bring investment to Alberta and continue to build on Alberta’s strong record on environmental, social and governance matters.
  • Emissions Reduction Alberta invests revenues from TIER to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative clean technology solutions.
  • Since 2009, Emissions Reduction Alberta has committed $607 million toward 183 projects worth $4.1 billion that are reducing emissions, creating competitive industries and leading to new business opportunities in Alberta. These projects are estimated to deliver cumulative reductions of 34.8 million tonnes by 2030.