2018 Alberta Provincial Budget Highlights: Funding for Oil & Gas
Alberta’s industry leaders will create new jobs, diversify the economy and reduce carbon pollution with $1.4 billion, over seven years, for innovation projects funded by the Climate Leadership Plan.
Innovation fund initiatives are divided into five categories:
Oil sands innovation fund: $440 million
- Alberta will improve the rules governing large emitters (announcement coming later this week). These improvements will help update and upgrade facilities and processes, in turn reducing emissions. For some oil sands companies, making these changes will take time and the government is helping companies adjust through the oil sands innovation fund
- Funding will start at $40 million a year in 2019-20, rising to $80 million in 2020-21 through 2024-25
Innovation across sectors: $225 million
The innovation stream includes funding to support research, development and investment in new technologies that reduce industrial carbon emissions in two program areas.
- Emissions Reductions Alberta ($80 million): a continuation of funding for innovation grants
- Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework ($145 million): this new fund, administered through the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Alberta Innovates, will help manage government investments in research, innovation and technology and help commercialize these products
Industrial Energy Efficiency: $240 million
The government is introducing a suite of measures to lower emissions and reduce costs in the commercial and industrial sector. This includes equipment and facility upgrades to lower energy use. It will also be available for energy audits and energy management systems to help further reduce on-site emissions. Funds will not be limited to oil and gas facilities. Large agricultural and manufacturing operations will also be eligible, as will institutions, commercial facilities and not-for-profit organizations that meet the criteria.
Bioenergy: $63 million
Alberta has an existing Bioenergy Producer Program, which will be adjusted to provide grants only to dedicated biofuel-producing facilities. These include:
- Liquid biofuels such as biodiesel, ethanol and pyrolysis oil
- Biogas electricity production from farm-based anaerobic digesters
- Electricity produced from wood by-products (biomass)
Green loan guarantees: $400 million
The government will underwrite commercial loans for qualified organizations that want to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. These green loans help encourage additional investment in projects that reduce emissions, while also reducing lending risks for financial institutions and potentially lowering interest costs.