Policy Pillar: The role of regulatory framework in developing North America’s hydrogen industry

North America is an economic powerhouse; its global influence in the energy sector is testimony to this. The region is a colossal consumer of energy hosting the second (the US) and sixth (Canada) largest consumers of energy globally.

North America plays host to some of the world’s most profuse energy resources and provides plentiful investments to utilise them. In 2021, the US was the second largest investor in clean energy at an impressive $114bn, an increase of 17% compared to the 2020 investment statistic1. These investments are well placed and push the region’s renewable energy mix year on year. Canada is one of the world’s leading countries for clean energy, boasting a large enough hydro installed capacity of approximately 85,000MW to power 60% of the country’s total energy generation2. Whilst the US and Mexico do not host hydropower on the same scale as their northern neighbour, both countries do have considerable overall renewable installed capacities – the US, as of 2020, with 292,065MW and Mexico with 28,358MW. As a region, North America has a combined installed renewable energy capacity of approximately 421,703MW, providing a notable springboard for the green transition3.

Hydrogen is planned to be a key contributor to achieving net zero, with most countries already including its implementation in government roadmaps and investment plans. The next decade is set to determine its position within the global energy mix, however, this will be contingent on government response.

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