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Emissions Reduction Alberta announces Methane Challenge

Published by
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is making up to CAN$40 million in funding available to develop technologies that address methane detection, methane quantification, or reduction of methane emissions in Alberta.

ERA is the new tradename of the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation, established as a key partner of the Government of Alberta to address climate leadership priorities.

While ideas can come from anywhere, all projects must demonstrate a clear and justified value proposition for addressing methane emissions in Alberta.

Proposal focus areas

  • Methane emissions detection and quantification: many sources of methane emissions in Alberta are hard to detect and accurately quantify. New technology options for accurate detection and quantification will be important for addressing climate change.
  • Reduction of methane emissions from oil and gas, agriculture, waste and other sources: There are existing technology options that have been commercially deployed in Alberta and are available to enable significant methane emissions reduction. New technologies will be important to decrease the implementation cost of achieving methane reductions and to enable ongoing methane reductions in the near and longer term.


Project development stage

The ERA is committed to delivering real solutions that provide definitive change. This call for proposals is meant to advance technology that has been proven conceptually but is not commercially operational in Alberta.

The project development stage can range from:

  • Prototype development where a technology has been proven but needs to be improved or tested in a simulated operational environment.
  • Pilot projects that field test a prototype system that has already been proven.
  • Demonstration projects where technology is being demonstrated in an operational environment at a commercially relevant scale.


Methane sources

  • The main sources for methane emissions in Alberta are associated with agriculture, mining, oil and gas and waste management.
  • Types of emissions sources include point-source emissions (e.g. concentrated methane leaks from a small opening), diffuse-source/non-point-source emissions (e.g. emissions over a large area), distributed-source emissions (e.g. small quantities from a large number of distributed sources), and intermittent/variable emissions.


Why methane?

The climate change impact of methane is significant — 25 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100 year period. The Alberta Climate Leadership Plan aims to reduce methane emissions by 45% by 2025. The ERA is well positioned to play a role in supporting medium and longer term methane emissions reduction.

The oil and gas industry is responsible for 70% of Alberta’s methane emissions:

  • 31.4 megatonnes in 2014.
  • 48% of these emissions are from direct venting or venting from equipment, 46% from fugitive emissions or leaks, and 6% from flaring or other sources.


Agriculture represents 22% of Alberta’s methane emissions, while waste management (e.g. landfills) is responsible for 6% of methane emissions: 12.5 megatonnes in 2014.

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