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Energy Powering Opportunity
June 10-12, 2025
BMO Centre at Stampede Park - Calgary, Canada

Alberta Clean Technology - Collaborating to Reach Climate Goals

Alberta Clean Technology: Collaborating to Reach Global Climate Goals

In order to reach net-zero goals by 2050, companies must adopt clean technologies like geothermal energy, nuclear power, and innovative hydrocarbon products. With the support of expert innovation companies like Alberta Innovates, there's no excuse for companies to deprioritize efforts to reach a low-carbon future.

Alberta Innovates is a full-service innovation engine that works to solve challenges, such as energy production. They create new opportunities to forge a healthy and sustainable future for up-and-coming generations.

Heather Campbell, Executive Director at Alberta Innovates, sat down with Rachel Gregory, Digital Host at The Global Energy Show to discuss clean technology in Alberta and Alberta's collaboration between energy systems that can help the country reach the international climate goal of net-zero by 2050.

Utilizing Clean Technology in Alberta & Collaboration Between Energy Systems to Reach Climate Goals

Current Clean Technology Trends in the Global Energy Transition

Rachel: Heather, what are the most important current clean technology trends? 

Heather: Well, I would first talk about the trend of BBC, or bitumen beyond combustion. BBC creates low-cost carbon fibre. It diverts bitumen from being combusted, where 80% of the life cycle emissions are. It's 52% less GHG intensive than current carbon fibre manufacturing. The low cost enables a market end use in lighter vehicles, making them more energy efficient and creating longer-lasting structures. 

The next trend is carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS). Canada's oil and natural gas sector is Canada's largest emitting sector accounting for about 26% of Canada's emissions. So without further actions, emissions from the oil and gas sector are projected to increase globally. Businesses and investors are increasingly giving preference to cleaner fuel and investment. 

The third trend is hydrogen. Hydrogen is a critical part of Alberta's decarbonization future. Hydrogen is one of Canada's most exciting economic transformation opportunities to help businesses grow, reduce emissions in the industrial sector, and enable a new Canadian competitive advantage in a low carbon economy. 

Decarbonization and electrification of global energy are increasingly based on electricity. That means the key to clean Alberta energy systems is to turn the electricity sector globally from one of the largest producers of CO2 emissions into a low carbon source that reduces fossil fuel emissions. 

The Renewable Energy Resource That’ll Help Canada Achieve Net-Zero

Rachel: Considering the drive to net zero, is there one solution that helps us achieve net-zero? 

Heather: It will be a range of technologies, including nuclear power and all of the solutions. Not just one will be needed for clean energy transitions around the world. 

On the bioenergy front, the clean fuel standards target transformative change in how fuels are produced and used in Canada. That's crucial for long-term decarbonization and to put Canada on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050. Alberta Innovates supports the new plastics economy vision, and that's where we eliminate the plastics we don't need. We innovate to ensure the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable and circulate the plastic items we do use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment. 

The Role of Clean Technology in ESG Management 

Rachel: What role does clean technology have in ESG management?

Heather: Clean technology, at the end of the day, really addresses sustainability while creating opportunities for economic diversification in Alberta. We need to consider more than just achieving net-zero. We need to establish a mindset and the tools to actually stay there too. It also needs to focus on behaviours and values. So ensuring that Canada, Alberta, and Calgary's energy transformation is authentically inclusive should be a priority. 

In my view, having incremental women in stem fields, especially in engineering industries, will facilitate women participating in and leading the energy transformation. Energy storage and the corresponding technology development can contribute to energy independence, energy access, and energy equity, particularly for indigenous and remote communities. In Canada, gender equality and the economy could bring another 150 billion in GDP to the country. That's a prize that's being left on the table. 

Alberta’s Performance in Clean Technology 

Rachel: Tell us about Alberta's performance in clean technology. 

Heather: Alberta Innovates has continuous intake funding and a clean technology program, which I lead. The government of Alberta is bolstering clean tech efforts, and the federal government is also a major funder of this technology. In Alberta, about 30% of women are involved in startups compared with 13% on average elsewhere in the country. In fact, about 63% of Calgary-based high-tech entrepreneurs were supported by Alberta innovates. 

The Missing Piece in the Clean Technology Ecosystem

Rachel: What's missing in the clean technology innovation ecosystem?

Heather: Innovation needs to extend beyond tangible technology. In Alberta, we're trying to use the concept of an innovation sandbox or safe space where you collaborate in a space to succeed or fail for the technology, the business model and the regulatory framework together. That's not punitive. For us, the starting point for that is the Alberta smart consortium. Realistically, we need to work actively on big picture cooperation; clean technology just doesn't flourish on its own, jurisdiction cooperation is needed.

Learn More About Clean Technology and Energy in Alberta

Collaboration in the clean tech sector can help technology companies, oil and gas companies, and other key leaders in the local economy reach net-zero carbon emissions. Alberta Innovates is a great example of a global leader focusing on collaboration to help companies in the clean technology sector reach Alberta's energy climate goals by 2050. 

If you're interested in learning more about topics like clean technology from those actively changing the game in North America's energy industry, register for the next Global Energy Show today.

Alberta Clean Technology - Collaborating to Reach Climate Goals

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