The race for big oil companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions is fierce. As zero-emissions solutions from renewable energies and technologies begin to set new expectations for energy production, oil companies are being called to accelerate their environmental efficiencies and, more importantly, compete with foreign oil distributors.
In order to snuff out the competition, Canadian producers are turning to innovative solutions to spur local collaboration and invest in advanced technologies to increase environmental performance and reduce emissions.
Earlier this month, General Electric announced the launch of its GE GHG Ecomagination Innovation Challenge: Energy Efficiency Solutions for Canada’s Oil Sands. The competition aims to provide CAD$1 million to the best global minds to help develop solutions that can be scaled and commercialized within the industry.
More specifically, the challenge calls for proposals that will identify new uses for waste heat and improved efficiency of steam generation.
Canada’s oil sands are the third-largest oil reserve in the world, next to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, representing a significant source of energy that remains high in demand among global energy markets.
The competition follows the 2012 formation of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, comprised of 13 oil companies working collectively to expand research and development and implementation of innovative solutions to drive responsible growth of the oil sands.
“Collaboration is key to solving big challenges,” Elyse Allan, president and CEO of GE Canada, said in a press statement. “GE recognizes that by working together, we can develop technology that will enable ongoing, responsible development of Canada’s oil resources — an important driver of the country’s economy and future prosperity.”
Strategic advisors for the competition include Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES).
The specifics of the award include up to four respondents receiving CAD$25,00 each in cash prizes. Winners of the competition who sign a joint development agreement with GE will receive an additional CAD $100,000 in development grants.
The GHG Ecomagination Innovation Challenge represents the sixth challenge in GE’s series of competitions. Previous challenges spanned the U.S., China, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
The winners of the first part of the challenge will be announced in January 2015. Entries are now being accepted at www.geghgecochallenge.com.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Sherrell Dorsey is social impact branding and communications strategist, social entrepreneur and advocate for environmental, social and economic equity in underserved communities. Visit Sherrell atwww.sherrelldosey.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @sherrell_dorsey.