Following our earlier article about the Canadian government’s pledge to provide aid to ensure that the Kinder Morgan TransMountain oil pipeline expansion project gets built, it seems worth highlighting here the recent announcement that the government’s Sustainable Development Technology Canada program has awarded C$3.4 million in new funding to a noted lithium-ion battery tech firm.
The news is notable here because of the difference in scale of the two types of support — on the one hand, we have a simple investment of C$3.4 million; and on the other, we have promises of vast amounts of money, warnings from the government directed at those opposed to the project, and special meetings that saw the attendance of the prime minister.
The oil industry is one of the foundations on which the Canadian economy now resides, of course, so this isn’t surprising. Note the difference between economic activity that is ultimately derivative of foreign trade and investment relationships (real-estate value inflation, preferred/cheap access to international markets, and other sorts of non-corporeal “wealth”) and base-level resource production (which is what keeps such relationships in place for the junior partner).
To put that in plainer language, people in Canada get to live the sorts of lives that they’ve grown accustomed to simply due to base-level resource extraction which is of interest to countries in better geopolitical positions. The fossil fuel industry comprises a large part of this, as do the forestry, mining, and agricultural sectors.
Back to the news at hand … a press release provides more: “Canada has awarded $3.4 million to Springpower International (SPI) of Mississauga, Ontario, which has developed a lower cost and environmentally friendly process for the production of lithium ion batteries. The award was 1 of 5 awards totalling $14.1 million in federal funding for clean technology development.
“The projects are being funded through Sustainable Development Technology Canada, which works with Canadian companies to bring early-stage clean technologies to market. Incorporated in 2010, Springpower is a private company dedicated to the development and commercialization of advanced Li-ion battery materials and battery technologies destined for HEV/EV and portable electronics.
“SPI technologies developed or/and under developing address the requirements for different applications, such as environmental friendly process, high energy density, lower production cost, secure long term supply and so on. SPI currently has two main areas of focus: nickel-based cathode materials technologies and nano silicon technologies.”
Probably good bets, going on current trends…
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