The Government of Alberta is providing $58 million through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to reduce emissions and to create jobs in the natural gas sector.

In October 2019, ERA launched the Natural Gas Challenge and invited technology developers to share project concepts for innovation opportunities in Alberta’s natural gas industry.

Funding recipients include a project that uses artificial intelligence to locate and measure methane emissions, and a project to produce renewable natural gas from biogas at an agricultural facility that will be the first of its kind in Alberta.

The 20 new projects have the potential to reduce a combined one million tonnes of emissions by 2030 – the same as taking about 750,000 cars off Alberta’s roads. These projects will also get Albertans back to work by creating more than 750 new jobs when they are needed most.

Projects were selected through ERA’s competitive review process. Experts in science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing, and greenhouse gas quantification reviewed 117 submissions and chose projects based on the strongest potential for success.

“Unlocking innovation across our natural gas sector will create jobs while helping industry become more efficient. With Alberta’s 300-year supply of affordable natural gas, a technically skilled workforce and world-class environmentally responsible facilities, there is tremendous opportunity for Alberta to compete with international markets,” said Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity. “Funding opportunities like this, in partnership with Emissions Reduction Alberta, are critical to attracting investments that will grow Alberta’s economy by reducing upfront costs, while reducing our province’s share of global emissions.”

The provincial government funds ERA through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system. TIER is an improved system to help energy-intensive facilities find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology.

ERA’s funding model requires that every dollar committed to an initiative is matched or exceeded by additional investments, which ensures there is a market demand for the technology. Government’s $58-million investment through ERA has been more than doubled by private and public investment to stimulate the economy, lower emissions and create jobs, leading to a total of $155 million in funding.

“Investing in the next wave of technological advancements will help Canada’s natural gas industry achieve new efficiencies, reduce costs, and continue to drive world-leading environmental performance,” said Steve MacDonald, CEO of ERA.

A complete list of the successful Natural Gas Challenge projects can be found here.

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