Alberta invests in U of A clean energy research partnership

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Three areas of clean energy research will be advanced through a $25-million grant from the Government of Alberta to the University of Alberta

Improved oil sands tailings management, advanced reclamation methods and greenhouse gas reduction technologies are three areas of clean energy research that will be advanced through a $25-million grant from the Government of Alberta to the University of Alberta.

In a unique international partnership, researchers from the University of Alberta are collaborating with the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres to drive innovation towards cleaner energy production, with particular focus on the province’s oil sands.

“Alberta is investing in research and innovation that will help meet the world’s need for energy with less impact on the environment,” said Premier Ed Stelmach. “I am encouraged that leading scientists at both the U of A and Helmholtz Association share the belief that we can achieve a more sustainable global energy future by working on these challenges together.”

In September, the University of Alberta signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Helmholtz Association to establish the Helmholtz Alberta Initiative. The five-year research venture will address key challenges encountered when advancing the sustainable development of Alberta’s oil sands, including cleaner alternative to tailings management, more efficient methods of reclamation and developing renewable energy sources.

“We all know the importance of thinking ahead, 10, 15, 25 years into the future,” said University of Alberta President, Dr. Indira Samarasekera. “We also know that we must focus on the here and now, on finding the energy and environmental solutions that will be needed for the next generation. That’s why the Alberta Helmholtz Initiative is so important and why the Alberta government’s ecoTrust grant is such a critical and welcomed part of the search for real solutions.”

Alberta’s share of the ecoTrust is $155.9 million, and $52.45 million has been allocated to date by the Government of Alberta into clean energy research and waste-to-energy projects. The Canadian government established the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change in 2007 by distributing $1.5 billion among all the provinces and territories to assist with clean air and climate change initiatives of their choosing.

This research supports Alberta’s Climate Change Strategy. For more information on this strategy, visit

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