Cleantech, open banking get help from the feds

Housing and the cost-of-living crisis got the most attention in the government’s fall economic statement yesterday, but it also had some (eagerly awaited) support for parts of the tech sector.

What happened: The government is putting big bucks into making carbon capture and other environmental tech more economically viable. The measures announced Tuesday include:

  • $7 billion for “carbon contracts for difference,” or CCFDs, which allow heavy emitters to sell the amount of carbon they cut from operations, or carbon they capture, on an open market.
  • A bunch of tax credits for projects related to carbon capture, carbon storage, clean technology adoption, hydrogen, clean technology manufacturing and clean electricity. Legislation for each of the credits will be introduced over the course of the next year.

Why it matters: The funds could be a shot in the arm for parts of Canada’s cleantech sector, which has lost $1 billion in funding in the fallout from Sustainable Development Tech Canada’s ongoing ethics probes.

  • The government isn’t replacing the capital SDTC gave to early-stage companies, but advocates argue that CCFDs have a trickle-down effect, while tax credits could help cover up-front costs to get projects off the ground.
  • Start-ups not involved in carbon capture or the other segments getting tax credits are still out of luck, though.

And also: The government will introduce a framework for open banking — rebranded as “consumer-driven banking” — in the next budget, to be fully implemented by the end of 2024. The Conservative opposition and the fintech industry have been pushing the government to make good on its promise to adopt open banking, which was initially set for the beginning of this year.