B.C., Canada and Shell Canada will spend $105 million on developing cleaner energy technologies in an “all hands on deck” approach, as Premier John Horgan put it, in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We have to change how we behave,” Horgan said during Friday’s announcement of the new spending, which will see the governments and Shell each contribute $35 million to the creation of a so-called clean energy centre.
The intent is for the centre to be an incubator for research and commercialization of technologies, including carbon capture, utilization and storage, production and distribution of low-carbon hydrogen, biofuels, synthetic fuels, renewable natural gas and battery technologies.
B.C.’s wildfire season, with 305 fires burning as of Friday, following devastating 2017 and 2018 summers, is a grim reminder of the climate crisis, Horgan said, and the need to “move (on to) a future that is less reliant on fossil fuels and more focused on clean, innovative changes to how we do business.”
Shell executive Susannah Pierce said that, as general manager of the firm’s renewables business, she is “more committed and have the power to do more than ever” in advancing emissions reductions.
“When you think about the energy transition, you can’t electrify everything right away,” said Pierce, president and country chairperson for Shell Canada.
So she views the centre, and initial investments in carbon capture, hydrogen production and low-carbon fuel development as useful next steps to reduce the emissions impacts of marine transportation and aviation.
“We really think that this centre can help bring monies together across industry and government and technology to accelerate really important solutions (that) can have a real impact,” Pierce said.