Canadian Minister of Energy & Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson has announced CAD11m ($8m) in funding for nine energy technology projects. This includes CAD2.5m for small modular reactor (SMR) research and CAD8.5m to support innovation in the clean hydrogen sector. The announcement was made during the annual Energy & Mines Ministers’ Conference in Calgary, Alberta attended by federal, provincial and territorial ministers.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in 2023 introduced the Enabling Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) Programme to support the development of supply chains for SMR manufacturing and fuel and fund research on SMR waste management solutions. As part of the Enabling SMRs Programme:

  • The University of Regina will receive a total of CAD941,651 over three years to study long-term disposal strategies for intermediate level and non-fuel high level wastes from SMRs within Saskatchewan; and
  • The University of Alberta will receive CAD1,656,000 over three years for its project on additive manufacturing (AM) of next-generation functionally graded materials for use in SMRs.

As to hydrogen CAD5m will be allocated to three projects in Alberta selected through the Energy Innovation Programme’s (EIP’s) Clean Fuels and Industrial Fuel Switching call for proposals, including:

  • CAD3,000,000 to Aurora Hydrogen Inc. to advance the use of microwave energy for pyrolysis technology to convert methane to hydrogen and solid carbon with minimal greenhouse gas emissions and no water use;
  • CAD1,000,000 to Quantiam Technologies for the production of carbon-negative methanol and e-fuels from captured carbon dioxide and green hydrogen; and,
  • CAD1,000,000 to Innova Hydrogen Corp for zero-carbon hydrogen production via catalytic methane pyrolysis.

The remaining four projects, also in Alberta, are funded through the EIP and support the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence, a strategic initiative led by Alberta Innovates. They include:

  • CAD1,300,450 to ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd., in partnership with Qualico, to conduct a feasibility assessment of a pure hydrogen pipeline network to heat new homes in the community of Bremner in Strathcona County, Alberta, including constructing a pure-hydrogen demonstration home;
  • CAD1,264,550 to Innovative Fuel Systems to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by developing a hydrogen and diesel dual-fuel retrofit system applicable to 90 percent of heavy-duty engines;
  • CAD508,935 to ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. to develop the Fort Saskatchewan Operating Centre into the first commercial 100-percent hydrogen-heated building in North America and as a demonstration site for end-user heating technologies that utilize pure and blended hydrogen with natural gas; and,
  • CAD415,000 to New Wave Hydrogen Inc. to accelerate the time of methane thermal cracking for hydrogen production via shock wave heating technology in preparation for successive field pilots.

“This week’s announcements are part of a series of significant steps the Government of Canada continues to take to support good jobs and promote sustainable growth, including the launch of the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada Progress Report, Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy and Canada’s founding of the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance last fall, said Jonathan Wilkinson. “I will continue to work with all partners to ensure Canada remains a global supplier of choice for clean energy in a net-zero world.”