The Alberta government announced that they estimate their new Alberta Carbon Capture Incentive Program will bring in $35 billion in new investment over the next decade.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith will lead the province’s delegation at COP28 in Dubai. She will be joined by over 100 Alberta delegates, showcasing Alberta as a world leader in innovation and emissions reduction.
Smith claimed that Alberta is set to remain a leader in energy production and carbon capture, utilization, and storage for decades.
“This technology is important because we’re working to phase out emissions. We are not phasing out energy production,” Smith clarified.
Minister of Energy Brian Jean said that Canada’s oil sands industry contributes nearly $60 billion, or 3%, to the country’s GDP. According to Pathways Alliance, a healthy, sustainable oil sands industry could contribute an estimated $3 trillion to the Canadian economy over the next 30 years.
Jean said that the forecasts predict that global energy demand will continue to increase by 2050.
Since 2015, Quest and Alberta Carbon Trunk Line projects have successfully captured and stored more than 11.5 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to emissions from 2.5 million cars per year.
Rebecca Schulz, Alberta’s Minister of Environment, said that Alberta’s inaugural methane emissions target for the oil and gas sector has become an international best practice. The data released Tuesday shows that Alberta has reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45% since 2014.
“New data released today shows that we’ve successfully reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45% since 2014, while the federal government has never actually hit an emissions target they’ve set. Alberta has done it, and we’ve done it ahead of schedule,” said Schulz.
The Alberta approach of using enhanced sensors and converting over 1000 pneumatic injection pumps to solar configurations has saved the industry upwards of $600 million compared to the proposed federal mandates, said Schulz.
Despite Environment Minister Guilbeault’s continued pursuit of a net-zero power grid for 2035, Smith said that Alberta will proceed with developing the province’s baseload power on natural gas with the best available technology. She will use the crown corporation as a last resort to shield any corporation from criminal liability if Guilbeault continues with his unconstitutional targets of 2035.
“We’re not going to sit and wait while they break the law, drag their feet, make us take them to court, spend years creating economic uncertainty for our investors,” said Smith.
The estimate of $35 billion is based on the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program, which has $38 billion worth of projects that have applied. Smith said that the pathways project is already a $16 billion project, and others not quite as large are contemplating making an investment with the province.
Smith estimates the cost of the government to be in the order of $3.5 to $5.3 billion.
The $35 billion in capital investment will create up to 21,000 jobs.
Regardless of the federal government, Smith confirmed that the province will need at least 12,000 MW of new power construction between now and 2050. She said that some of the province’s electrical generators have said they can reach carbon neutrality by 2045, but all have said that 2035 is not possible.
“I think Minister Guilbeault is not taking us to court because he’s tired of losing,” said Jean.
The Alberta government has removed the barrier for projects to come to Alberta, said Jean. He explained that other jurisdictions are looking to store GHGs and CO2 offshore.
“We have the capacity to store 100% of the global emissions from the world right now,” said Jean.