Alberta's hydrogen boom well on its way: Nally

·2 min read

Alberta will be speeding up the goal of exporting hydrogen by 10 years, said Morinville-St. Albert MLA Dale Nally.

On Friday Nally, the associate minister of natural gas and electricity, announced with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a Hydrogen Roadmap, which outlines how the province plans to become a big player in the hydrogen energy market by 2030.

Nally said the province has many advantages to producing hydrogen and will be similar to when the province entered the oil and gas boom.

“Hydrogen can absolutely be a game changer for our province on many levels,” Nally said.

Nally, who represents Morinville and part of the industrial heartland, said the province is moving quickly on hydrogen and didn’t expect the sector to be adopted at such a fast pace.

“The speed that we've seen companies flock to Alberta, to take advantage of the hydrogen opportunity, shows that not only are we on the right track, but we're creating a space that investors can thrive in,” Nally said.

The province estimates the global hydrogen market is expected to be worth up to $2.5 trillion by 2050.

Alberta wants to see hydrogen integrated into the provincial electricity grid, feeding trucks and public transport, used in processing, and exported globally.

Kenney said the federal government will have to provide some funds get the industry off the ground and will rely on them for costs associated with increasing the current carbon capture, utilization, and storage capacity.

"Hydrogen gives the world an exciting new tool to build a stronger, more reliable, low-emission energy future," Kenney said.

"Alberta is uniquely positioned to become a dominant global player in this burgeoning new technology."

To do this Alberta will rely on the current systems in place to allow for a transition to carbon capture and storage, and on the abundant and low-cost gas in the province to help produce hydrogen at a competitive price.

Nally said the province is encouraging all forms of clean-energy production, such as hydrogen made from renewable energies or from emerging technologies such as making hydrogen from natural-gas decomposition.

“We are agnostic over the colour of the hydrogen as long as it is clean and industry will decide what type of production it will be,” Nally said.

Overall the strategy will cost $30 billion, although there are no specific funding commitments made to get the strategy off the ground. The government will rely on existing policies, such as a low corporate tax rate and petrochemical incentives program, to attract investors to the province.

The new strategy will help the province reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 14 megatons per year by 2030 by integrating hydrogen into industrial processes. In 2017 it was estimated Alberta's greenhouse-gas emissions stood at 272.8 megatonnes per year.

Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette

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