SDTC Business Case reports assess clean technology investment priorities
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) recently released its second series of SD Business Case(TM) reports looking at technology investment priorities required for the development and demonstration of clean technologies that benefit the economy, the environment and the health of Canadians. These documents are the culmination of an extensive cross-country consultation process with key stakeholders, including industry and subject matter experts.
One of the three reports in the series covers conventional fuels (Clean Conventional Fuel - Oil and Gas), while the other two cover renewable fuels (Renewable Fuel - Hydrogen, Renewable Fuel - Biofuels). The reports examine the impacts, both near-term and longer-term, of technologies and non-technological measures. Also discussed are barriers that, if overcome, can lead to the successful adoption of clean technologies. SDTC says the reports will influence its model for investment decision-making and funding of projects in renewable fuels and upstream oil and gas.
The oil and gas report focuses on the upstream sector, from extraction to the refinery. Near-term investment priorities include reducing energy use in oil and gas production and enhanced production processes. Specifics include improved steam and heated solvent technology, directed at reducing the environmental footprint and energy costs of oil-sands extraction.
For the longer term, the report looks at solutions for the capture, transport and storage of CO2, an area it says holds enormous potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction. Several technological issues need to be addressed, however. These include developing an improved CO2 transportation infrastructure and improved CO2 capture technologies.
The biofuel report addresses the future needs of one of Canada's greatest potential fuel sources. Promising investment areas include the development of second-generation technology to enable the use of alternative, higher revenue-generating feedstocks (such as mustard seed for biodiesel and wood for ethanol) and the development of both large-scale and smaller distributed biofuel plants.
The hydrogen report not only focuses on ways to lessen the environmental impact of traditional fossil-fuel based methods to produce hydroge it discusses development of new methods of hydrogen production, such as solar-based. Hydrogen has two big draws as a clean fuel source: it is the most abundant source on earth, and the byproduct of its use is water.
To date, SDTC has completed eight funding rounds and allocated a total of $217 million to 97 clean technology projects. That amount has been leveraged by an additional $560 million from other project partners, for a total project value of $777 million under management.