Canada maps a path to its hydrogen energy future


From pv magazine Global

Canada’s government published the country’s new strategy to develop a hydrogen economy.

The government said that developing a hydrogen industry may lead to the creation of 350,000 sector jobs and direct revenues of over CAD 50 billion ($ 39.9 billion) per year by 2050. The zero-emission fuel is expected to satisfy around 6% of Canada’s end-use energy by 2030 and about 30% by the end of the first half of the century.

(Read the strategy document.)

“This scenario is more likely to be achieved with strong pricing and regulatory incentives in place at the federal and provincial level to drive hydrogen adoption, supported by immediate and aligned action across government and industry,” the government said. “Canada’s recently announced Strengthened Climate Plan, including carbon pricing, the Clean Fuel Standard and the CAD 1.5billion dollar Low-carbon and Zero-emissions Fuels Fund, is already putting in place foundational federal initiatives that will enable the broad suite of measures contemplated in this strategy.”

As Canada is still the world’s fourth-largest gas provider, blue hydrogen is expected to play a major role in the outlined scenario. “The hydrogen supply network in Canada could include both large-scale centralized plants in Canada’s natural-gas rich provinces or in regions with high penetration of low-cost renewables, and smaller-scale distributed electrolytic production near demand centers,” the document stated. “Delivered hydrogen costs of $1.50-3.50/kg are projected to be achieved as production scale is realized and investment is made in distribution infrastructure.”

Energy-intensive applications will be prioritized, especially in long-range transportation and power generation. “Hydrogen’s moment has come,” said Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s minister of natural resources. “The economic and environmental opportunities for our workers and communities are real.”

According to a recent study, Canada has a strong potential for large-scale seasonal underground hydrogen storage (UHS) in geological formations. The study points out that the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (heart of the country’s oil and natural gas deposits) and southern Ontario are the most suitable areas for UHS due to “a wealth of natural resources.”

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