By James Wilt
Can technology lower the carbon footprint of Canada's oilsands?
Canada's oilsands throw off considerable greenhouse gas emissions: 70 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2015, the most recent year data is available. That's almost ten per cent of Canada’s entire annual emissions profile.
“We really need to focus on the energy and technology sources that are part of the new economy, not part of the old,” said Tim Gray, Environmental Defence executive director.
New technologies may have the potential to change that by slashing per-barrel greenhouse gas emissions from typical oilsands operations by up to 80 per cent, and production costs by up to 40 per cent, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI).
“There's a huge incentive for companies to innovate and to try to realize some of these efficiencies and adaptations of technologies,” Dinara Millington, vice-president of research at CERI, a registered charitable organization with strong ties to industry, told National Observer last fall.