The new B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy is set to launch in the fall with the backing of $105 million from the provincial and federal governments, as well as Shell Canada.
Each party is providing $35 million for the project, which was first announced as part of British Columbia’s economic recovery plan in September.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, and we are already seeing its devastating effects.”
The centre is meant to bring together innovators, industry, governments, and academics to help with the commercialization and scale-up of BC-based clean-energy technologies. The aim is to allow for collaboration and partnerships between organizations in order to create near- and longer-term carbon emission reduction solutions.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, and we are already seeing its devastating effects,” said BC Premier John Horgan. “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.”
The Government of Canada’s $35 million commitment to the centre was part of its 2021 budget commitments and comes through Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program, which funds cleantech projects that help Canada reach its climate targets.
The centre will be a member-based, non-profit corporation, operating independently 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,” BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon said in a statement.
“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.,” said Ravi Kahlon, BC’s minister of jobs, economic recovery, and innovation. “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 and commitment are part of the provincial government’s focus on creating economic recovery from a sustainable lens. In its 2021 budget, BC put a heavy emphasis on the clean energy sector with the majority of its commitments for the innovation sector being focused on that area.
As part of Friday’s announcement regarding the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy, Shell also committed to accelerating its shift to a provider of net-zero emission energy products and services. Shell is said to be working with customers, businesses, and governments to address emissions. Some commitments to this end include investment into Quebec’s first commercial-scale, waste-to-low-carbon fuels plant and a proposed large-scale carbon-capture and storge facility in Alberta.
“As a B.C. clean-tech company working to commercialize critical climate technologies, we applaud this initiative and those like it that support innovators in scaling their solutions.,” said Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering. “Domestic deployment of clean-energy solutions, like Carbon Engineering’s carbon removal and synthetic fuel technologies, will create high-quality Canadian jobs, demand for Canadian materials and equipment, and significant emissions reductions to help meet our net-zero goals.”