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B.C., feds and Shell invest in innovation centre aimed at decarbonizing the economy


August 4, 2021
By Government of British Columbia

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The new B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy is benefiting from provincial and federal funding as well as that from Shell Canada.

The three parties are also collaborating to decarbonize the economy and scale up clean energy.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, and we are already seeing its devastating effects,” Premier John Horgan said. “Shifting from our reliance on fossil fuels to low-carbon energy requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. That’s why we are working together with industry and government partners to create a centre for innovation and clean energy that will build on B.C.’s strengths as a climate leader. By supporting new technologies, we will stimulate investment and create the good jobs of the future.”

Innovators, industry, governments and academics are being brought together to accelerate the commercialization and scale-up of B.C.-based clean-energy technologies. It will also be a catalyst for new partnerships and world-leading innovation to deliver near- and longer-term carbon emission reductions.

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“Our government is committed to reducing Canada’s emissions while, at the same time, creating good quality jobs and building a greener, more resilient economy,” Carla Qualtrough, federal minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, said. “Today’s investment in the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy will help innovators advance clean-technology solutions to do just that.”

Primary focus areas for funding and project delivery include:

  • carbon capture, utilization and storage;
  • the production, use and distribution of low-carbon hydrogen;
  • biofuels and synthetic fuels (including marine and aviation fuels);
  • renewable natural gas; and
  • battery technology, storage and energy management systems.

Larger reductions on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050 will be accelerated by new technology.

“Rising to meet the challenge of global climate change requires joint action from business and government to help scale up cleaner energy solutions,” Susannah Pierce, president and country chair, Shell Canada, said. “As a company that has operated in Canada for 110 years, we are keen to invest in low-carbon projects aligned with Shell’s target to become a net-zero emission energy business by 2050, in step with society.”

The Government of B.C. and Shell Canada have each committed $35 million to the centre that will leverage additional public and private-sector investments and participation. The Government of Canada has committed up to $35 million for the centre’s innovative projects.

The centre is slated to launch in fall 2021 and will be established as a member-based, non-profit corporation operating independent from government and private entities. Its intent is to attract a wide range of companies and partners that share a common focus on low-carbon innovation and scaling up B.C.-based clean-energy technology.

“The Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy is part of our government’s commitment to create a better future by building an inclusive, sustainable and innovative economy with new clean-energy jobs for people throughout B.C.,” Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, said. “The centre will help B.C.-based companies develop, scale up and launch new low-carbon energy technologies and will help establish B.C. as a global exporter of climate solutions.”

The centre is part of the StrongerBC for Everyone Recovery Plan – a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.

The federal government’s contribution to the centre will advance clean-energy technologies that help Canada meet its climate change targets and build a low-emissions energy future. Its involvement is part of Budget 2021 and delivered through Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program.

Shell has announced a strategy to accelerate its transformation into a provider of net-zero emission energy products and services and is working with customers, businesses and governments to address emissions, particularly in sectors that are difficult to decarbonize. The company recently invested in Quebec’s first commercial-scale, waste-to-low-carbon fuels plant, and earlier this month announced a proposed large-scale carbon-capture and storge facility in Alberta.