Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, making up almost 75% of all matter. As a zero-emissions energy carrier, it stands to reason that as the world works to decarbonize our energy systems, the ability to tap into this vast resource would go a long way to satisfying our overall energy needs with this greener (and maybe bluer) resource. Globally, governments, including Canada’s federal and various provincial governments have concluded that hydrogen will form part of our energy mix, not least of all because of its potential as a much lower-carbon fuel than traditional hydrocarbons. As of 2021, there were over 30 countries worldwide who had developed and adopted their own hydrogen strategies.
In November 2021, the Alberta Government released a roadmap to building a hydrogen economy and in April this year, it announced a $50 million contribution to establish a Hydrogen Centre of Excellence within Alberta Innovates. The funds will be used to “drive innovation in the production and use of hydrogen in Alberta.” While Alberta already produces 2.4 million tons of hydrogen per year, clearly policy makers see expanded potential in an industry that some expect to grow to between $2.5 and $11 TRILLION globally by 2050. Alberta’s Hydrogen Roadmap suggests that the global sale of hydrogen could exceed $700 billion by 2050. Alberta’s Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity recently noted that he is aware of at least $14 billion of hydrogen investments that have been announced just in the past year.
GLJ has, for many years, been keenly aware of the ever-growing potential for hydrogen as a low carbon fuel and has watched as small, even tentative projects have taken hold and slowly built a foundation up which much of the current global enthusiasm for hydrogen has been built. GLJ works to unlock hydrogen’s potential as a flexible clean energy carrier for decarbonizing multiple heavy emitting and difficult-to-abate sectors. Our multidisciplinary hydrogen team includes engineering, geoscience and business strategy expertise. We have formed strategic partnerships with firms specializing in facilities and process design, allowing us to provide access to an integrated project team capable of solving challenges across the entire hydrogen value chain.
GLJ has developed an early track record of delivering solutions for our clients exploring hydrogen’s potential for decarbonizing their operations. Our hydrogen research has been recognized by industry associations such as the SPE, CHOA, CSUR and the Alberta Chamber of Resources. This track record of success helps our clients capitalize on the natural advantages that Canada has with regards to its hydrogen production capacity:
- Rich in low-cost feedstock
- 67% of existing grid is sourced from renewable sources
- 4th largest producer of natural gas globally and 6th largest exporter
- Abundant geological pore space for CO2 storage
- Global leader in CCS/CCUS
- Global fuel cell leaders (Ballard Power, Hydrogenics, etc.)
- Complimentary infrastructure
- Established hydrogen market (~3Mt/year)
- Established energy sector and world class expertise + labour
- Carbon pricing regime
These natural advantages cement Canada’s position as one of lowest cost hydrogen producers globally, with one of the largest production capacities when compared across other high potential producing nations. The below scorecard provides a high-level snapshot of Canada’s position across select hydrogen producing nations.