Hydrogen is a gas that is recognized as a solution for the world's low carbon heat, transportation, and industrial needs. Alberta has an excellent opportunity to produce inexpensive, clean hydrogen. While there are various production technologies to consider, the bottom line is that all forms of clean, low carbon intensity hydrogen should be considered as part of Alberta’s future hydrogen plan as we continue in our role as a global energy leader.
Hydrogen is a burgeoning clean fuel that governments around the world have been rallying around that has no carbon release into the atmosphere when utilized as an energy source. While there are several methods of hydrogen production, each one may be advantageous in specific geographical locations as we move to a low-carbon future. The hydrogen technologies that are currently available, plus those that are being developed, must consider total carbon intensity from the production method to the form of transportation utilized to the end user.
Hydrogen is a valuable fuel for heat, transportation, and to power industry; it will be vital to determine hydrogen markets in order to build a business case for building a hydrogen supply. The time is now for the Governments of Alberta and Canada to work with industry partners to determine demand markets so that the needed hydrogen supply and infrastructure can be built to support a low carbon future. For example, if hydrogen vehicles are used increased fueling station access and methods to efficiently distribute hydrogen, such as pipelines, will be essential.
It is important to note that hydrogen is not a “silver bullet,” but one important piece in solving the netzero puzzle that will also include electrification, nuclear, wind, solar, fossil fuels with carbon-capture, and more.