The buildings sector has been targeted in the Canadian government’s search for breakthrough energy solutions. A new fund bearing that name will provide clean technology developers with up to $3 million or 50 per cent of project costs toward the advancement of manufacturing, electricity, transportation or buildings related innovations with the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 0.5 gigatonnes annually.
“The dawning global low-carbon economy is estimated to be worth $26 trillion,” says Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Every day, Canada’s inventors and investors, engineers and entrepreneurs are coming up with smarter, cleaner ways of doing things. Their ideas are our best tools in the fight against climate change.”
Candidates who own or have licensing rights to an intellectual property and meet prescribed technology-readiness requirements have until September 11 to apply to the newly announced Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada (BESC) program, which is envisioned as a means to accelerate clean technology development and attract further investment. Natural Resources Canada will oversee the program, while the investor-led Breakthrough Energy Coalition will act as a consultant and offer successful proponents potential backing of its associated $1-billion+ global fund in support of climate change action.
“Collaboration across the public and private sectors is a powerful way to advance the energy innovations and companies needed for a carbon-free future,” maintains Bill Gates, the chair of Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “We are hopeful that this Breakthrough Energy partnership with Canada will be a model for developing more collaborations.”
Potentially eligible innovations include those that: decrease the carbon intensity of a GHG-emitting product or system; increase the deployment and/or improve the performance of an existing low-GHG product or system; introduce a new low-GHG product or system into the market; or introduce a systems-level structural change that enables any of those advancements.
Within the buildings sector, BESC administrators foresee that occurring via low-carbon building systems and construction techniques, intelligent buildings and innovative, high-performance heating and cooling technologies. Qualifying electricity technologies include those to related low-carbon generation and grid management. Targeted manufacturing technologies would also have a impact in the built environment since they centre on low-carbon production of steel and cement among other materials.
Up to $30 million will be available to disperse in amounts of $300,000 to $3 million. Proponents will be required to begin work by April 1, 2020 and achieve tangible performance targets within two years. Preference will be given to companies that are already generating revenue, have previously secured at least $500,000 in investment or have signed on a significant co-funder prepared to adopt the technology.