Nikola Motor has plans in Canada’s oil patch

TC Energy is spelling out new details of its partnership with Nikola Motor.

The American zero-emissions vehicle-maker and Canadian energy firm say they’re assessing a site for a hydrogen production hub in Alberta to fuel big rig trucks and power homes. A final investment decision is expected by 2023.

Critics have denied the environmental merits of hydrogen produced by natural gas, as will be the case in the project. For Kevin Krausert, the debate over blue hydrogen from natural gas versus green hydrogen created with renewable energy misses the point.

“This whole debate around the colours of hydrogen, I just find it rather pedantic,” the CEO and co-founder of Avatar Innovations told Yahoo Finance Canada’s Editor’s Edition. “There is a real opportunity with creating hydrogen through natural gas that we would be remiss as a country to avoid.”

Got a question for Kevin Krausert? Email Jeff.Lagerquist@yahoofinance.com and let him know what interests you in the world of clean energy and technology.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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Video Transcript

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JEFF LAGERQUIST: Let's talk about TC energy and Nikola. The companies have identified a natural gas facility in Alberta that they say could supply hydrogen fuel for long-haul trucks and generate power for businesses and homes. A final investment decision is expected by the end of 2023.

Kevin, as we know, transportation is a leading source of emissions, but hydrogen is all about production. In this case, it's going to come from natural gas, not wind and solar. There'd be people out there that would say that this isn't necessarily clean energy because the natural gas-- or the power to make the hydrogen isn't coming from wind and solar. What do you think about that?

KEVIN KRAUSERT: You know, I think hydrogen is going to be a molecule of the future. Currently right now, it's by and large used in fertilizer production and oil refining. And so there's a number of-- but it's not being used either as necessarily a transport fuel or a heating fuel, which would be the, sort of, two-- two big areas of growth that I see.

And so this whole debate around the colors of hydrogen, I find just, you know, rather pedantic. What we need to be having a conversation around is lowest emissions possible hydrogen. You know, there is a real opportunity with-- with-- with creating natural gas, or rather creating hydrogen through natural gas, that we would be remiss as a country to avoid.

And each region of the country has their energy strengths. You know, Quebec and BC have tremendous amounts of hydro, and so they're looking at hydrogen from hydro as well. So Alberta's strength is around its natural gas. And if we can produce a low emissions or zero emissions hydrogen at a cheaper cost per barrel and unlock a huge opportunity for the world, I think we-- we've got to double down on it. And I think TC Energy's announcement today speaks volumes around what they view as a big opportunity in the energy transition that leverages existing energy assets.

TC's an energy transition infrastructure company, as most major energy companies in Canada are. And it's really exciting to see, you know, true industry leaders like TC Energy, you know, put their money where their mouth is and explore real opportunities in the energy transition.

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