Canadian governments could learn important lessons from Alberta about building needed carbon capture and storage infrastructure. Carbon storage is one of many options that will need to be implemented for Canadian manufacturing to move to a net zero carbon emissions economy. These were key points made in the 360 Energy webinar, “Hubs & Clusters: Opportunities for Industrial Carbon Emissions Management”.
European countries, such as the Netherlands and Norway, are proving it is feasible to capture and store carbon emissions. Alberta and some American jurisdictions are showing the way as well.
The webinar, hosted by Richard Adamson, CEO of Industrial Climate Solutions, identified the conditions Canada will have to create in order for its industrial manufacturers to capture and store CO₂ emissions. Canada needs large carbon emitters such as those in the cement, steel, chemical and other sectors to make serious progress in advancing to net zero carbon emissions.
Rob Mitchell, a carbon capture and storage consultant, noted that Ontario has access to the Great Lakes and proximity to pinnacle reef geological formations. These two foundational resources give the province good opportunities to build carbon capture and storage systems around its industrial manufacturing sectors.
According to the four panelists, the Alberta Carbon Trunk pipeline is an example of what can happen when government works with industry and investors to enable positive climate outcomes. The Sturgeon Refinery recently announced it had successfully partnered with the Alberta Carbon Trunk pipeline to capture and transport more than 1 Million Tonnes/year of CO₂ emissions. The CO₂ will be used for enhanced oil recovery and storage. Fourteen years in development, the pipeline has enough spare capacity to connect other carbon emitters from Alberta’s industrial heartland for decades to come.
As Richard Adamson observed, the Alberta government’s role in the development of the Alberta Carbon Trunk pipeline was pivotal, but largely invisible. The provincial government resolved the issues that emerged and put the policies in place that enabled this industrial solution. As a result, Alberta now has a significant asset that allows for the growth of its industrial, oil and gas sectors in a carbon constrained world.
Carbon capture, utilization and storage can demonstrate energy management and carbon leadership to Canadians and to the rest of the world. Other governments need to review the Alberta playbook. It can be a model for Ontario, Quebec and other jurisdictions to create similar opportunities.