Underground Coal Gasification: A Regulatory Framework for Alberta

  • Astrid Kalkbrenner


Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is a new emerging clean coal technology. It holds promise for reaching and making use of very deep coal seams that technically could not otherwise have been mined at these depths. UCG technology and knowledge developed significantly during the 20th century. Countries around the world with large coal deposits sustain and promote UCG research and launch projects with the intention to commercially deploy UCG. Alberta currently hosts two UCG projects, and a third project is under consideration. The development of these projects suggested the need for a UCG specific regulatory approval process. In 2011, Alberta enacted specific UCG legislation. This article deals with recent developments in UCG technology and its regulations. The aim of this article is to present Alberta’s current UCG regulatory framework as a model for other jurisdictions.