The company will provide $2.5m to Saltworks Technologies and $3.8m to General Fusion through its environmental opportunity fund (EOF).

Saltworks has developed an energy efficient way to convert salt water into fresh water through desalination by harnessing low-temperature heat provided by solar energy or waste heat thereby reducing mechanical and/or electrical energy.

Saltworks’ technology can be used for processing and producing drinking water for communities and irrigation water for agriculture.

Saltworks chief executive officer Ben Sparrow said Cenovus’s investment will allow the company to build more low-energy plants on a global scale.

General Fusion is developing fusion technology using hydrogen atoms to produce energy which emits no greenhouse gases.

Cenovus executive vice-president of environment and strategic planning Judy Fairburn said the General Fusion’s technology has the potential to revolutionize energy production.

Cenovus has committed $16m to the EOF since 2003 and has allocated $10m this year to invest in projects to improve energy efficiency and mitigate environmental impacts of hydrocarbon production.

The company will also provide financial support to develop alternative and renewable energy sources.