TORONTO, December 21, 2020 – Canada’s Federal Government has set out a new Hydrogen Strategy to “position Canada as a world-leading producer, user and exporter of clean hydrogen, and associated technologies.” Pollution Probe supports the Strategy’s focus on the important contribution that hydrogen can make to meeting Canada’s net zero 2050 target, while capitalizing on the massive jobs and economic growth potential of this clean fuel.
Pollution Probe supports the focus on the carbon intensity of the hydrogen produced, rather than specifying a particular technology.
The transportation sector is, along with oil and gas, one of Canada’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The Strategy very effectively provides a detailed exploration of the many opportunities where hydrogen can substantially reduce the sector’s emissions and contribute to cleaner air. These applications include hydrogen fuel cells in light duty vehicles and electric buses, and in off road vehicles deployed in mining and similar sectors. Pollution Probe also appreciates the Strategy’s emphasis on the role hydrogen can play in reducing emissions from the movement of freight by trucks, ships and rail.
The Strategy also highlights the other sectors of the economy where hydrogen can play a role, including heating for industry and buildings. As mentioned in the Strategy, it is likely that electrification will play an increasingly large role in heating, but electrification on its own is unlikely to meet all heating needs. Coupling hydrogen and electrification can move Canada towards net zero emissions more effectively and efficiently, while ensuring that energy needs for all are met.
As the Strategy correctly recognizes, hydrogen has the potential to not only provide significant economic benefits but also help move Canada towards its net zero goal. To realize the benefits of hydrogen, Canada needs to move forward on long-term integrated planning so that the most effective roles for electrification and hydrogen can be identified. Canada also cannot stand still. The Government must take actions now to set us up for a cleaner and more prosperous future.
Pollution Probe looks forward to working with the Government to ensure that Canada takes the necessary steps to derive all possible benefits from hydrogen in the coming years.
Research and Communications Co-ordinator,