Alberta seizing the green hydrogen opportunity

Alberta seizing the green hydrogen opportunity

As part of its new Natural Gas Vision and Strategy, the Government of Alberta will seize emerging opportunities in green hydrogen as part of a clean energy future.

Within the document released this week, the government laid out its goal to export hydrogen and hydrogen products across Canada, North America and globally by 2040.

In addition to its export ambitions, the Government also set goals for large-scale hydrogen production with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) for deployment in various commercial applications across the provincial economy by 2030.

“Developing a robust clean hydrogen economy can unlock significant economic value for Alberta and Canada, while advancing critical environmental outcomes,” the strategy reads.

“Deploying hydrogen into the transportation and home-heating sectors and incorporating it as fuel for electricity generation and other industrial processes, is key to Canada’s ability to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Paris Accord.”

As both the strategy, and recent talks at the f-cell+HFC event which took place electronically this year suggest, the opportunity for hydrogen in Alberta is high and its unique geology can facilitate additional carbon sequestration or utilisation from hydrogen production.

Read more: f-cell+HFC: The motivation for hydrogen is high

“Growing demand for hydrogen provides Alberta with strategic opportunity to expand and integrate its natural gas value chain. This will benefit Albertans, Canadians and the world by creating jobs, generating government revenues and contributing clean fuel to the global economy,” the strategy counties.

Whilst many eagerly await the launch of Canada’s National Hydrogen Strategy, Alberta’s own goals presented this week definitely highlight a huge step towards a hydrogen fuelled future for the country.

In order to ensure it meets the goals set out in Natural Gas Vision and Strategy, the Government of Alberta set out the following actions that it will take in order to seize such opportunities:

Short-term Actions (Fall 2020-Winter 2021):

  • Build alliances and map Alberta’s hydrogen system to determine deployment pathways, partnerships, barriers and gaps (commercial, technology, and policy), technology development opportunities, and targets.
  • Establish common interests and partnership opportunities with the Government of Canada, including incorporating Alberta’s interests into a federal hydrogen strategy, to accelerate hydrogen deployment in Alberta and other provinces. 

Medium-term Actions (2021 throughout 2023):

  • Develop a Hydrogen Roadmap for Alberta detailing best deployment pathways, enabling policies, innovation strategy and funding support.
  • Build support among western Canadian provinces to align policy to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen in western Canada.
  • Remove red tape to be inclusive of hydrogen deployment and pass enabling policy, legislation, and standards.
  • Working with industry, advance pilot projects and early demonstration projects, including supporting infrastructure, to build momentum.
  • Explore opportunity to accelerate joint federal/provincial private sector funding to stimulate initial build-out of the provincial hydrogen economy.
  • Investigate and consider opportunities for hydrogen as part of overall approach to the LNG export value chain.

Long-term Actions (2023 and beyond):

  • Partner with industry leaders to accelerate scaling up and commercial deployment, as well as infrastructure build-out, for key target end-use applications. This includes exploring opportunities for broader hydrogen transportation utilizing existing natural gas infrastructure and pipeline corridors.
  • Partner with other governments to ensure hydrogen transmission across Canada is enabled along dedicated economic/resource corridors.
  • Attract and secure a world-scale hydrogen for energy export project to Alberta.

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