With bioenergy set to play an important role in the clean energy transition, Alberta Innovates asked Dunsky to assess its Bioenergy Program and the $44M of funding it has provided to date – which is geared toward adapting, developing and deploying innovative bioenergy technologies across Alberta – with a view to continuous improvement.
Dunsky conducted market, impact, and process evaluations to review the program’s accomplishments to date, and to provide recommendations for possible program updates moving forward. We found that, overall, the program had effectively delivered on its mandate, making notable progress in several key areas. For example, the program successfully supported deployment of the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels technology project, the world’s first municipal solid waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility. The facility is helping the City of Edmonton increase its waste diversion from 50% to 90%. Other successful projects included supporting the deployment of the Advanced Energy Research Facility (AERF) in Edmonton (which acts as a plug-and-play facility to encourage technical innovation) and enabling municipalities to deploy waste-to-value add facilities (through feedstock characterization, market intelligence, and pre-front-end engineering design studies).
In the course of our review, we identified opportunities to continue collaborating with other innovation initiatives in Alberta and to update program delivery processes in order to grow program impacts. These recommendations will help build a stronger bioenergy sector in the province, and contribute to a growing understanding of bioenergy best practice.