Premier Jason Kenney said on Tuesday that the province would invest $50 million over four years in a center dedicated to accelerating the country’s hydrogen industry growth.
Kenney said the Clean Hydrogen Centre of Excellence would assist in advance initiatives from proof-of-concept to functioning prototypes and commercial success, speaking at the first-ever Canadian Hydrogen Convention in Edmonton.
“To put it another way,” Kenney added, “the facility will operate as an accelerator for potential hydrogen technologies being developed in the province.”
The facility, which was initially announced last November as part of the province’s hydrogen roadmap, received $10 million in capital financing over two years in the 2022 Alberta budget.
The remaining $40 million in operational expenses will come from Alberta’s Technology, Innovation, and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund, which is funded by a carbon tax on major polluters and administered by Alberta Innovates.
Kenney wants to help people.
Kenney aims to raise an additional $150 million from various levels of government and the business sector for the center.
“I can tell you that it (work) has officially begun today.” We already have industry customers working with us or coming to us at this conference, and we’re beginning to create projects with them,” Kilcrease said, adding that the program would look at production, transportation, distribution, storage, and carrier techniques, and end-of-market hydrogen usage.
Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity Dale Nally said the center doesn’t have a particular greenhouse gas reduction objective, but its work will be critical in making Alberta a worldwide hydrogen leader.
Generational Wealth Generator.
Following Kenney’s address, Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, indicated the center would not have a single site, but would instead function out of many current facilities around the province, including C-FER Technologies and Innotech in Edmonton. Kilcrease couldn’t say how many jobs would be generated directly as a result of the center’s efforts since it depends on how many private-sector bids are submitted.
“It might be our province’s next source of generational wealth, as well as an opportunity to diversify and extend our portfolio of responsible energy products,” Nally added. Hydrogen is expected to be a $2.5 trillion to $11 trillion business globally by 2050, according to the UCP government.
It has been focusing on promoting the development of “blue hydrogen,” which is created from natural gas with carbon capture and storage and emits some CO2.
Renewable energy is used to make green hydrogen.
Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy and produces no emissions. Kenney said on Tuesday that “clean” hydrogen may be made in a variety of methods, but that the government is “agnostic” about the color, preferring to let the private sector take the lead.
Alberta’s blue hydrogen is among the world’s cheapest to manufacture, and the province already leads the nation in annual hydrogen production with 2.4 million tonnes. The objective of UCP’s hydrogen strategy is to start exporting hydrogen by 2030.
The element has the potential to decarbonize technology in a variety of fields, including blending with natural gas for lower-emission heating and electricity, as well as zero-emission vehicles that are difficult to electrify, such as big trucks.
Alberta’s natural resources.
The institute, according to Amit Kumar, professor of mechanical engineering and NSERC Industrial Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering at the University of Alberta, will assist mobilize multiple stakeholders using Alberta’s resources, technology, and labor.
“To ensure Alberta is a superpower in hydrogen, all segments of the economy must join together under one tent,” he told Postmedia in an interview. “There is an anticipation that more specialists will be engaged in assisting the government in making decisions about these projects,” he added.
The energy critic for the NDP.
Kathleen Ganley, the NDP’s energy critic, said in a statement Tuesday that other nations are pushing toward hydrogen generation, and Alberta will require the correct policies and investments to catch up.
“Unfortunately, the UCP has delayed its steps and minimized our hydrogen industry’s potential.” They’ve even expressed amazement at how swiftly the sector has progressed. “This government has to act swiftly to capitalize on the enthusiasm in this sector to ensure Alberta doesn’t fall behind,” Ganley said, adding that if elected, the NDP will pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.