Feds announce $11 million in funding for clean energy projects, mostly in Alberta

A total of $2.5 million of the funding will go to small modular nuclear reactor research at the University of Alberta and the University of Regina.

Eleven clean energy projects, most of which are based in Alberta, have been selected to receive a total of $11 million in federal funding. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson rises during Question Period, Monday, June 17, 2024 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Eleven clean energy projects, most of which are based in Alberta, have been selected to receive a total of $11 million in federal funding.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson made the announcement in Calgary July 3 where he was attending a conference with provincial and territorial ministers.

Of the funding, $2.5 million will go to small modular nuclear reactor research at the University of Alberta and University of Regina.

The remaining $8.5 million will be divided between seven Alberta companies doing work in the area of hydrogen.

Recipients of the funding will include Atco Gas, which is working to develop the first commercial 100 per cent hydrogen-heated building in Canada; Innovative Fuel Systems, which is developing a retrofit system to convert heavy-duty diesel truck engines to hydrogen engines; and New Wave Hydrogen, which aims to use shock-wave heating to produce clean hydrogen from natural gas without producing any carbon dioxide emissions in the process.

Interest in low-carbon hydrogen and other low-carbon fuels has increased significantly in recent years.

There are now more than 80 low-carbon hydrogen production projects currently in various stages of development, according to the federal government. The government’s own estimate pegs the economic opportunity of hydrogen development in Canada at over $100 billion.

“Hydrogen presents a massive opportunity,” said Wilkinson. “(It’s) a clean energy source that can build on existing strengths, and simultaneously support energy security and climate objectives.”

Both hydrogen and small modular nuclear reactors are areas of focus for the feds, as it works toward its goal of getting Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050.

A new report from clean energy think-tank the Pembina Institute and Simon Fraser University says Canada is on track to make significant progress toward that goal thanks to government policies that are accelerating the shift to clean energy.

“If all governments stay the course on the plans and policies that they have already implemented (or announced plans to implement), Canada would be on track to significantly reduce emissions by the end of this decade,” the report’s authors state.

The report gives high marks to the federal government as well as the governments of B.C. and Quebec for supporting the energy transition, but says Alberta and Saskatchewan are lagging behind.

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