Canada’s journey towards a prosperous net-zero economy is gaining momentum as the Canadian government steps up its commitment to clean, reliable, and affordable electricity grids. This pivotal development is set to lay the foundation for the nation’s future growth, sustainability, and environmental responsibility.
As a precursor to the Clean Electricity Strategy, a vision paper was unveiled last Tuesday, August 8th by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, at the Invinity Energy Systems Factory in Vancouver. This paper puts emphasis on economic opportunities, the urgency of action, and the power of collaboration. It drives home the strategic importance of decarbonizing the electricity grids by 2035, as this will enable the broader economy to be fully electrified by 2050. It was inspiring to hear Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Honourable Brenda Bailey, BC’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, share thoughts on powering towards emissions-free electrification, in collaboration with the BC-based clean energy community.
United we thrive: Fostering battery and energy storage breakthroughs
The Canadian government’s endeavor to build a clean, reliable, and affordable electricity grid extends beyond political boundaries. Before the announcement, CICE hosted a round table that highlighted how BC is ready to lead the way to clean, affordable and reliable electricity systems across Canada and beyond. It brought together policymakers, industry leaders, academia, innovators and Indigenous rights holders to share their passion, challenges and commitment to powering the world towards emissions-free electrification. Participants included: Atlas Power Technologies Inc., Government of British Columbia, BC Hydro, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Clean Energy Association of BC (CEBC), Invinity Energy Systems, Mangrove Lithium, Moment Energy, Natural Resources Canada, Powertech Labs Inc., Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada Ltd., and University of Victoria.
CICE’s role: A catalyst for innovation and clean energy progress
The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) has been granted a pivotal role in this transformative journey. Backed by a $105 million investment from the Government of British Columbia, Shell Canada, and NRCan, CICE is at the forefront of commercializing and scaling BC’s most impactful decarbonization solutions – from Canada to the world. CICE operates on the principle that the lack of traditional revenue metrics shouldn’t hinder the scaling of groundbreaking climate solutions. In fact, we thrive on leading early-stage, non-dilutive investment that is de-risked by deep intelligence gathering, public and private co-funding, and strategic partnerships across various sectors that expedite adoption and growth.
One of the critical dimensions of Canada’s net-zero strategy is the advancement of battery technology and energy storage solutions. CICE has directed significant funding, $3.8 million to date, towards battery technology and energy storage projects. These endeavors are not just investments; they are catalysts for change, worth over $17.6 million in total and boasting a potential greenhouse gas abatement of 185,157 tons per year. And we have just begun this exciting journey of powering Canada forward.
“The B.C. Centre of Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) shares the federal government’s vision for Canada’s electricity sector. We recognize that mitigating investment risks, fostering collaboration and accelerating the commercial scaling of clean energy storage and grid integration solutions are vital to achieving a net-zero economy. CICE is committed to leading non-dilutive investments in disruptive areas of innovation where the lack of traditional revenue metrics is a barrier to scale. This approach provides a faster and easier way for clean energy innovators to scale their impact and become global players in sectors ranging from mining and manufacturing to energy storage and recycling.”Ged McLean, Executive Director at the B.C. Centre of Innovation and Clean Energy