New study highlights Quebec’s high potential for clean hydrogen production

New study highlights Quebec’s high potential for clean hydrogen production

Newly-formed coalition Hydrogène Québec has today unveiled the first white paper on the solid potential of clean hydrogen in Quebec, Canada.

This paper clearly demonstrates that hydrogen has an important role to play in meeting Quebec’s tabled decarbonisation goals.

The coalition and the report are being launched just prior to the Montreal International Auto Show, where hydrogen will surely be a subject of discussion.

Undertaken by Dr. Jacques Roy, Professor of Logistics and Operations Management at HEC Montréal, and Dr. Marie Demers, Research Associate at the Université de Sherbrooke, this report demonstrates that while Quebec is investing in electrification of transportation, the province has substantive assets to position itself strongly in the emerging hydrogen sector, with the use of electricity surpluses as a source of energy to produce green hydrogen.

Through this, Quebec would bring a complementary technology to electric vehicles to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

“The paper highlights the importance and potential of hydrogen as a renewable and clean energy carrier,” said Michel Archambault, spokesperson for Hydrogène Quebec and Director of Business Development at Hydrogenics.

“Its conclusions validate that hydrogen is one of the most credible approaches to achieve the reduction goals; and also reflect our members’ market experience and perceived potential.”

Three elements that bolster Quebec’s clean hydrogen production and deployment potential, as explored in the white paper:

  1. Leveraging electricity surplus

Quebec is well placed to benefit from the development of the clean hydrogen sector since hydrogen can be produced through the electrolysis of water from hydroelectricity surpluses.

This paves the way for the province to benefit from conversion to hydrogen in promising market segments such as captive fleets, like the fleet of 50 hydrogen-powered vehicles bought by the Quebec government last year in Quebec City.

The first multi-fuel station, including hydrogen, was also opened in this region last fall.

  1. Hydrogen to support freight transportation

Quebec can also benefit from conversion to hydrogen in rising market segments such as freight transportation, specifically for Class 8 heavy-duty trucks which account for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec; and in various transportation infrastructure projects such as the Quebec City tramway and the high-frequency train in the Quebec-Windsor corridor.

A hydrogen-powered tramway would eliminate the costs associated with overhead power lines and power supply structures.

In addition, deploying a hydrogen train in the Quebec-Windsor corridor instead of the planned diesel train would be a zero-emission solution.

  1. Export opportunities

While the study probes the more advanced role of hydrogen in California, China, Japan and Germany, it makes a strong case for Quebec’s major potential as a player on the hydrogen production stage and as a global leader in the energy transition.

Given that Quebec’s surplus production of clean electricity can be used to produce hydrogen that can be stored for later use, there is a huge potential for export to the northeastern US, to which it already exports hydroelectricity; and to Europe, which is lacking in renewable resources.

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