OTTAWA—With the specter of low crude prices and widespread oil and gas sector job losses hanging over Alberta, the federal and provincial governments are stepping in to lend a hand to a fast-growing segment of province’s energy industry.
Designed to help spur job growth and a more sustainable economy, the two tiers of government have announced $40 million in new funding for Alta.’s cleantech sector. The funds will be made available through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and Alta.’s Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC).
“Canada knows that clean and sustainable technology is critical for a prosperous future,” Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said. “The projects supported through this investment will help create the jobs of the future by advancing innovative solutions that will make our resource sectors world leaders in clean and sustainable technology and processes.”
Available exclusively to small and medium-sized businesses—those with fewer than 500 employees and less than $50 million in revenue—the money will help fund technology prototypes, field pilots and commercial-scale demonstration projects.
Alta.’s minister of environment, Shannon Phillips, said the investments will encourage the development of new clean technologies while diversifying the province’s economy and creating jobs—both things Alta. desperately needs as it endures sustained low oil prices.
SDTC and CCEMC say the $40 million will be distributed through a competitive application process up to a maximum of $10 million per project. The arms-length government organizations will fund up to two-thirds of eligible project costs. The only caveat is that the technology must be well-suited for deployment in Alberta.