Shift by Alberta Innovates

Shift for Inventures – Navigating to Net-Zero

May 31, 2022 Shift Season 3 Episode 12
Shift by Alberta Innovates
Shift for Inventures – Navigating to Net-Zero
Show Notes

As part of a special Shift series on Inventures 2022, we’re presenting an episode for each of the seven content tracks featured at this year’s event. 

This episode puts a spotlight on the track Navigating to Net-Zero and features an interview with Alison Thompson, CEO of Borealis Geothermal, Director at Kitselas Geothermal, and Chair of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association. Alison is working to forge a future for geothermal energy, which has enormous potential as a net-zero source of heat and energy for Canadians. 

Navigating To Net-Zero

In 2021, Canada passed the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability act, committing the country to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Despite the growing push towards renewable energy sources, non-renewable resources will continue to be a major part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future. New technologies—and new applications for existing ones—are required to expand our capacity for renewable energy production, to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and to commercialize new low-carbon products and materials. 

But Alberta already has everything it needs to succeed: enormous reserves of renewable energy resources, skilled workers who already have the technical expertise required to develop them, and the ingenuity to innovate.

Hear from the innovators and thought leaders who are shaping the future of energy as part of the Navigating to Net-Zero track at Inventures 2022.


Alison Thompson, Borealis Geothermal CEO, Kitselas Geothermal Director, Canadian Geothermal Energy Association Chair and Managing Director

Having held several positions at a coal utility in the US and hydrocarbon giants in Canada and now as CEO at Borealis and Director at Kitselas Geothermal, Alison has stood on both sides of what sometimes seems like a deep divide between renewable and fossil fuel energy. As an engineer she brings a depth of understanding of the technology behind energy production. Through her diversity of experience, she has developed an intimate understanding of the political landscape and business culture of energy in Canada and beyond. She has dedicated a substantial part of her career to demonstrating that Canada doesn't have to choose between the economy and environment. 
Her sustainability and ESG thought leadership is equally as diverse as her career experience. She is APEGA’s 2020 Centennial Leadership Award recipient and 2021 nominee for Engineers Canada Gold Medal Award. Borealis became the inaugural (2020) BC CleanTech Transformation Advocate winner. A Clean50 Top Project Award for the “Fuel for Reconciliation” project was shared between Borealis and Kitselas Geothermal. Remarkably, both the Borealis (Sustainaville) and Kitselas (Fuel for Reconciliation) projects were included on The Future of Good's Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects list for their COVID economic recovery potential. Nationally, she is the Chair and a Founder of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association. Globally, she was a director of the International Geothermal Association and was a long-time member of a committee crafting geothermal resource specifications for the United Nations. 

Shift by Alberta Innovates focuses on the people, businesses and organizations that are contributing to Alberta's strong tech ecosystem.