New Alberta government funding could lead the province to becoming a top producer of clean fuel options. 

This story also appeared in LiveWire Calgary

On August 1, 2023, the Government of Alberta announced that they are investing $45 million into funding hydrogen innovations across the province. 

“Alberta is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and we’re seeking proposals from the best of the best, the trailblazers and the big thinkers,” said Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas.

“If you’re a researcher or an innovator, a company or industry developing innovative hydrogen technologies, these competitions are for you.”

Schulz said that the government’s funding is intended to drive cutting-edge and first-of-its-kind hydrogen technologies to be used in production, transmission, distribution and storage. These technologies are also believed to support heavy-duty transportation, industrial heat and chemicals. 

“A thriving hydrogen industry brings new jobs to our province and sets up a future where Alberta leads the way in clean fuel options.”

To push innovation forward, the government will use the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund to launch two competitions. $25 million will fund latest stage development through ERA. $20 million will fund earlier-stage innovations through Alberta Innovates.

The Government of Canada will also provide up to $5 million, for a total of $50 million between the two levels of government to help drive hydrogen innovations. 

“Alberta’s abundant natural gas and renewable electricity resources make the province one of the world’s lowest-cost producers of hydrogen, a clean energy carrier that produces no greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” wrote the government on their Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) Accelerating Hydrogen Challenge website.

Pair of competitions

ERA’s $25 million Accelerating Hydrogen Challenge is intended to build a healthy pipeline of hydrogen technologies across the value chain. The project selected through the hydrogen challenge is expected create a pipeline of hydrogen technologies along with production storage, transmission and end-use. 

“Projects will be evaluated on their ability to contribute to the broader hydrogen ecosystem, and how to help and expand and diversify technologies currently in place,” said Justin Riemer, CEO of ERA. 

The challenge is open to applicants on the ERA website. Applicants who possess later-stage pilot, demonstration, and first-of-kind hydrogen projects are encouraged to apply. 

“Clean hydrogen has the potential to be an essential component of our integrated energy system, decarbonizing sectors that are hard to abate and growing various sectors of our economy,” said Riemer. 

The Advancing Hydrogen, Competition 2 program is being operated by Alberta Innovates, and is the second funding competition available under the Hydrogen Centre for Excellence. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is also providing funding for the competition.

“Alberta is already set to be the global supplier of hydrogen with massive natural gas reserves, existing production and pipeline infrastructure, enormous co2 storage capability, and with our experience in Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS),” said Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates. 

Applicants are invited to apply on the Alberta Innovates website. The competition will close on September 26, 2023, at 5 p.m. Successful applicants will be asked to submit four proposals with a prompt turnaround time. 

“As the largest manufacturer of hydrogen in Canada, we can do more for the rest of the globe to make them a net-zero economy,” said Kilcrease.

“All I can say is, remember, if you’re interested, move forward now.

Report an Error or Typo

Isabella West is a fourth-year Journalism student at MRU. She completed her work term over the summer of 2023 at LiveWire Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Journal.