Highlights in 2017


New clean energy innovation policies and/or strategies

In December 2016, the Government of Canada signed a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change(PCF) with provinces and territories, which will serve as the basis for action to meet or exceed Canada’s 2030 emissions targets and transition Canada to a stronger, more resilient low-carbon economy. Accelerating innovation to support clean technologies and create jobs was a key pillar of the Framework, alongside pricing carbon pollution, complementary measures to further reduce emissions, and measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and build resilience.

In Canada’s federal Budget 2017, the Government of Canada announced important new funding for clean energy RD&D in order to deliver on the PCF. This included, for example, the following funding to Natural Resources Canada:

  • Clean Growth Program: $155M over four years to advance clean technology RD&D, up to first commercial demonstration, in Canada’s natural resources sectors (energy, mining and forestry).
  • Impact Canada Initiative – Clean Technology Stream: $75M over four years, starting in 2017-18, to support high-impact clean technology challenges (e.g. helping Canada’s northern communities reduce their reliance on diesel; biojet fuel).
  • Green Infrastructure(Phase 2): Starting 2018-19, this includes:
    • Smart Grids: $35M over four years to demonstrate key emerging smart grid technologies.
    • Net-Zero Buildings: $64M over eight years for RD&D to drive down costs and create market confidence in net zero construction.
    • Remote Communities: $59.4M over six years to demonstrate innovative clean energy solutions for northern communities and reduce reliance on diesel power.
    • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: $30M over four years to demonstrate next generation electric vehicle charging technologies.
  • Energy Innovation Program (EIP): $52.9M per year as of 2018-19 to fund clean energy RD&D. The EIP spurs broader investment by providing direct funding to external recipients, as well as providing core funding for federal energy laboratories for public good R&D and science to inform codes and standards.

In addition, Budget 2017 announced $400 million over five years to recapitalize Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fundto support projects across Canada to develop and demonstrate new clean technologies that promote sustainable development, including those that address environmental issues such as climate change, air quality, clean water and clean soil.

Top clean energy innovation successes in 2017

Funding allocated in Budget 2016 began to be disbursed through various federal programs over the course of the year. Highlights from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) include:

  • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstrations(EVID): To date, 10 projects have been selected for $23.8M in federal funding and an additional $38.1M in leveraged funding from project partners. A project led by Fastcharge TCHand supported by $8M from the EVID program, for example, will bring 34 electric vehicle charging stations, each with three charging heads, to the TransCanada Highway, connecting Ontario to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.
  • Clean Energy Innovation: For the funding allocated to the program in Budget 2016, a total of 38 projects have been selected, for total federal funding of $42.2M and an additional $179M in leveraged funding from project partners. For example, NRCan is providing $1.54M to the Sustainaville Geopark, a demonstration of a geothermal powered and heated industrial park, which aims to prove the viability of a geothermal reservoir through drilling and well testing and to conduct a grid connection and power plant certification.
  • Oil and Gas Clean Tech Program(OGCT): A total of nine projects have been selected, for total federal funding of $49.4M and an additional $119.2M in leveraged funding from project partners. As an example, NRCan has provided $10M to develop the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre, a facility with five outdoor test bays that will be used to progress innovative approaches to convert CO2 emissions into marketable products such as building materials, fuels, chemicals and plastics. In June 2018, the first tenants of the Centre will include the five finalists of the natural gas track of the US$20M Carbon XPRIZE competition, sponsored by US-based NRG and Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance.

Top activities delivered in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2017

  • Bioenergy for the Future workshop: In November 2017, MI’s Sustainable Biofuels Innovation Challenge (IC4) joined the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Renewable Energy Division to hold a one-day “Bioenergy for the Future” workshop in Ottawa, Canada. The workshop featured the rollout of the IEA Technology Roadmap for Bioenergy: Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy, included a report on the Biofuture Platform, and also served as a review of “Lessons Learned” from previous attempts at scale-up of biofuels supply and conversion technologies. The workshop was attended by over 100 participants from Canada, the US, the EU, Brazil, India and New Zealand. The joint MI/IEA workshop was linked to other biofuels events taking place in Ottawa during the same week: the international conference Scaling Up 2017: Making the Global Bioeconomy Mainstreamand technical meetings under the IEA Technology Collaboration Program on Direct Biomass Liquefaction. The proceedings of these events are being integrated into a report on scaling up, currently being prepared by IC4 participants.
  • Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge: Prior to stepping up as co-lead of this Challenge in early 2018, Canada was an active participant in the workshop hosted in Mexico in September 2017.
  • Carbon Capture Innovation Challenge: Over 20 Canadian experts participated in the carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) workshop held in Houston in September 2017. Over 250 academic and industry representatives from 22 countries participated in active discussions across 13 panels to establish the current state of CCUS technology. The recently released workshop report will serve as an important signpost for future R&D activities in carbon capture technologies.


Collaboration on Smart Energy Systems
Countries: United Kingdom
Type of collaboration: public-public, public-private
Start date: 2018
End date: 2021
Funding amount: $10M CDN from Canada and up to £6M from UK

As part of this initiative, Canada and the UK will jointly develop and launch a grand challenge focused on breakthrough smart grid / energy storage technologies. This initiative is a key part of the Partnership between Canada and the UK on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Flare Emissions Factors Measurement and Modelling
Countries: Mexico
Type of collaboration: public-public, public-private
Start date: 2018
End date: 2022
Funding amount: $9M

The project will support demonstration of technologies in Mexico’s oil and gas sector for methane and black carbon emissions measurement, reporting, verification, and reduction.

Canada-China Collaboration on VOC and methane emissions reduction
Countries: China
Type of collaboration: public-public, public-private
Start date: 2017
End date: 2022
Funding amount: $2M

This project will demonstrate and measure the effectiveness of Canadian emissions reduction technologies at oil and gas production facilities in China.