Tax credits for carbon capture expected to fuel development around Edmonton

· The Pulse

The federal budget that was tabled on April 7 offers $2.6 billion in tax incentives over five years to companies that deploy carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), enabling them to write off up to 60% of their investments in the area. That should provide plenty of fuel for the projects underway in the Edmonton region.

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said earlier this week that 50% would be the minimum to entice companies to build carbon-capture projects, which are seen to be key to Canada achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Six such projects are in the works in the Edmonton area after receiving approval to evaluate their locations for the safe storage of carbon from industrial emissions.

The budget also includes an investment tax credit of up to 30% "focused on net-zero technologies, battery storage solutions, and clean hydrogen." Hydrogen is already a big part of economic development efforts in the region.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi hailed the proposed tax credits for both carbon capture and hydrogen development. "Those two initiatives have the potential to open up billions of dollars of investment," he said in a Globe and Mail story.

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce also praised the recognition of the importance of CCUS and energy transition strategies, but said the industry has advanced beyond current policies. "Alberta and Edmonton can be a leader in our desired energy transition goals, and we will advocate to the federal government to collaborate and support this industry," the chamber said in a statement that called the budget as a whole a "small step toward recovery."

The Business Council of Alberta joined the Edmonton chamber in calling for regulatory changes to speed up the development of low-carbon infrastructure. "We still need to see serious commitment to a regulatory express lane, and an order of magnitude more investment," said council president Adam Legge.

An industrial site near a lake

The carbon-dioxide emissions from Capital Power's Genesee generating station west of Edmonton are expected to be captured and stored by Enbridge and its partners at the Open Access Wabamun Carbon Hub. (Enbridge)

The following projects received the go-ahead to further evaluate their locations for the safe storage of carbon from industrial emissions:

Alberta has issued a second request for proposals to provide carbon storage services elsewhere in the province.