Future-Fit Hydrocarbons


Ambition: Develop Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) as a viable industry and part of the solution mix for a low-carbon emissions economy, positioning Alberta as a leader.

Both the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Shell scenarios suggest that CCUS has to be part of the solution for a two-degree warming scenario – even with big assumptions on the deployment of renewables and energy storage. CCUS is a critical technology if we aim to make use of Alberta’s hydrocarbon resources and related infrastructure in a low-carbon emissions future. It also has a powerful narrative for depolarizing the energy and environment debates i.e. helps illustrate the “both and” potential in contrast to the “either or” framing of hydrocarbons versus renewables.

Developing and deploying CCUS will help position Alberta for a low-carbon emissions economy. Alberta has important competitive advantages for CCUS development, such as deep aquifers and availability of subsurface data. Alberta already has the engineering and technology talent as well as a thriving entrepreneurial culture and an existing collaborative innovation ecosystem that includes multi-stakeholder platforms such as COSIA, EFL, CRIN, and more.


As a social innovation lab, the EFL will approach this highly technical subject from a social innovation perspective. We are looking at barriers such as regulatory uncertainty, policy innovation, funding challenges, public acceptance, job creation, and in general, explore how to increase momentum and political will. 

Initiative Status

As a continuation of the work done in the EFL on CCUS in 2019, the next step for advancing this stream of work in the Lab involves building out a theory of change and potential pathway for accelerating progress on CCUS that addresses the interconnection of social, policy and technological development factors.

This is the next step in a series of workshops planned to advance the uptake of CCUS in Alberta and Canada:

  1. Broad consultation (2019): Full day workshop with approximately 65 participants (complete)
  2. Special teams (2020): Small working group to build the potential pathway x 3 online sessions
  3. Gather reactions (2020): Presentation of potential pathway to the broader network for reactions
  4. EFL Accelerator (TBC): Advance solutions to the uptake of CCUS