Colorado and Alberta Announce Energy and Climate Partnership

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

DENVER - Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced a new partnership between Colorado and Alberta’s government to advance energy and carbon management solutions.  

This groundbreaking memorandum of understanding (MOU) will align and improve regulation, enhance collaboration, and increase information sharing on best practices in key energy and environmental areas including carbon capture, utilization and storage, methane emission reduction, hydrogen development, and geothermal energy. Colorado is a leader in climate, with nation-leading work around emissions reductions, electric vehicles, and improving air quality. Alberta is Canada’s energy province and a foremost leader in energy development and emissions reduction technology. 

“Today’s action is an important step in Colorado’s clean energy transition, moving us closer to our goal of 100% clean energy by 2040 and saving Coloradans money. This agreement will help combat climate change and support Colorado’s booming clean energy sector including geothermal energy and the hydrogen economy. Colorado and Alberta are leading in clean energy, and emission reduction is a global challenge that requires exactly this kind of international cooperation. I am excited that Colorado and Alberta are partnering together to do even greater things,” said Jared Polis, Governor of Colorado.

“Alberta and Colorado have legacies in environmental leadership and responsible energy development that we will build on to play a key role in the global energy transition away from emissions. This agreement will help us deliver solutions and support innovation in clean and renewable energy while providing new economic opportunities for Alberta companies,” said Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta.

“ECMC believes this is a great partnership with Alberta, a Canadian province, that is aligned with our State’s efforts to ensure protective oil and gas development and to create protective permitting pathways for emerging energy technologies. These efforts will allow both of us to transition to clean energy for our climate, bring good jobs and clean air for both Colorado and Alberta,” said Jeff Robbins, Chair of the Colorado Energy & Carbon Management Commission.   

“This agreement works perfectly with Colorado’s current efforts to advance carbon capture, hydrogen and geothermal energy and ongoing commitment to energy innovation. This partnership, through formal conferences or summits and informal conversations sharing best practices, methodologies, and mapping, allows ECMC and Alberta to build on what we have individually learned and accelerate our collective understandings. Sharing our expertise and experience will enhance our environmental stewardship as we responsibly build out and broaden our energy sources to meet the needs of today and the future,” said Julie Murphy, Director of the Colorado Energy & Carbon Management Commission.  

"As two key players in North America's energy industry, Colorado and Alberta have a strong, complementary relationship. This is especially true when it comes to key emissions-reducing technologies, such as geothermal energy, hydrogen production, and carbon capture. This MOU is an important step in our work to achieve a clean energy future and, along with Alberta, we look forward to continuing to advance clean energy technology here and in Canada," said Will Toor, Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office.

Alberta and Colorado officials will use this agreement to formalize regular connections and advance shared priorities that will boost Alberta’s competitiveness, grow and diversify the province’s economy, fuel new industry jobs and open up market opportunities for Alberta industries, businesses and innovators deploying new energy technology and emissions reduction innovation to the world.

The agreement will be in effect for three years with an opportunity to renew.

Quick facts 

  • The U.S. is by far Alberta’s largest trade partner, and Alberta’s relationship with Colorado is particularly strong. 

    • Bilateral trade between Alberta and Colorado totalled $6.2 billion in 2022.

    • Alberta’s total energy exports to Colorado totalled $5.4 billion in 2022, primarily energy products.

  • A number of Alberta companies already have a strong presence in Colorado, including Encana, Stantec and Suncor.

  • According to the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, there is an estimated potential of 388,500 megawatts of thermal energy in Alberta that can be recovered under existing technical, structural and ecologic restrictions.

  • Alberta is the largest hydrogen producer in Canada and has the resources and expertise needed to become a major global supplier. 

    • The global hydrogen opportunity is projected to be worth trillions by 2050.

  • Alberta’s government has invested or committed more than $1.8 billion, including Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction fund dollars, to support carbon capture, utilization and storage -related projects and programs.

  • Alberta was the first sub-national government in North America to set a methane reduction target for upstream oil and gas, namely 45 per cent reduction from 2014 levels by 2025. 

    • Alberta is using a combination of regulation, market-based incentives and programs to support cost-effective and timely emission reductions.