Statement from Julia Levin, Associate Director, National Climate

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – Today Capital Power announced that they would not be pursuing carbon capture at the Genesee Generating Station, east of Edmonton Alberta, given the high costs and complexity of implementing the technology. The project was first proposed in 2021, and has already received government subsidies. 

This decision is just the latest failure in carbon capture’s terrible track record. It should serve as a lesson for governments on how reckless it is to be using taxpayer dollars to subsidize these projects. 

The decision came despite massive government subsidies. Capital Power was already given $5 million from the Government of Alberta and the project would have been able to access both federal and provincial tax credits. Despite this, Capital Power still decided that the project would not be financially viable. 

Carbon capture has not been successfully used in the power sector. Most projects never make it off the ground. The few that do, like the Boundary Dam coal plant, capture a fraction of the promised rate. Equipping fossil power plants with carbon capture makes fossil fuel generated power even more expensive, while the cost of renewable energy has plummeted. 

When it comes to power generation, Canada has great alternatives to fossil fuels. Wind and solar, paired with battery storage, are reliable, affordable and safe. That’s where governments should be investing. 

Carbon capture is unnecessary, ineffective and expensive. The bottom line: the most effective way to deal with carbon dioxide emissions is to prevent them from ever being created, rather than trying to pluck them from the air or smokestacks and inject them underground.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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