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Carbon capture and hydrogen development central to Western Canada’s energy transition

Author(s): Sander Duncanson, Paula Olexiuk, Dana Saric, Jessica Kennedy, Maeve O'Neill Sanger

Dec 13, 2021

In 2021, Canada increased its commitments under the Paris Agreement and formalized its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. Canada also recently announced at the COP26 conference in Scotland that it will cap emissions from the oil and gas sector. These commitments have spurred a transition in Canada’s energy sector towards low- and no-carbon processes, technologies and products. This energy transition will have an impact on broad sectors of the economy, including energy production/generation, transmission, distribution and consumption.

At the energy production and generation level, these developments are leading to increased interest and advancements in energy storage, renewable energy technologies and commercial arrangements that support investment in low-carbon energy, such as power purchase agreements. Among the most significant areas of interest and opportunity in Western Canada are carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and blue hydrogen. These technologies affect the full energy value chain, from production through to consumption. While each of these emerging technologies and sectors presents significant opportunities to spur economic growth, attract “green” capital into Canada’s energy sector and reduce national (and global) emissions, they also introduce a range of technical, economic and legal challenges for companies and governments to navigate...