Canada, Germany sign green-energy deal in bid to power fledgling hydrogen sectors

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OTTAWA — Canada and Germany have signed an agreement to team up on green energy innovation and trade, with an eye to hydrogen as the market for the low-carbon fuel heats up.

Signed today by the two countries' energy ministers, it outlines a plan to co-operate on energy policy and research as both strive to reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan says Quebec and his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador are particularly well poised to start generating so-called "green hydrogen," which burns cleanly and can be produced using wind and solar power.

O'Regan stressed the need to retrain workers in regions with economies long reliant on struggling fossil fuel industries, saying the transition could be "messy" and that "oil will be with us for some time."

He also says liquefied natural gas could serve as a handy "bridge fuel" to cross over into green-energy territory, with Germany aiming to integrate LNG imports as well as hydrogen production into its energy strategy.

The two countries might not see fully eye to eye on hydrogen, with Canada focusing on so-called "blue hydrogen" that is typically derived from natural gas and coupled with carbon-capture technology to reduce emissions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press