An article in Research Money looks at Canada’s national hydrogen strategy, which was released in December 2020, along with the launch of a $1.5-billion Low-carbon and Zero-emissions Fuels Fund to increase production and use of low-carbon fuels, including hydrogen. The strategy sets an ambitious framework to cement hydrogen as a key part of Canada’s path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and make Canada a global leader in hydrogen technologies.

According to author Jessica Galang, “[w]ith Canada’s existing industry strengths, [it] has an advantage in being a global leader in an industry expected to reach $12 trillion by 2050.” To gain insight into how to make this happen and how hydrogen can help transition our resource-rich country, Research Money talked to industry experts, including Osler’s Paula Olexiuk, a partner in Osler’s Energy Group and Co-Chair of the Construction and Infrastructure Group.

Experts told Research Money that while hydrogen is promising, it should be considered in conjunction with other clean energies — a sentiment stressed by natural resources minister Seamus O’Regan, who has said that a net-zero future isn’t possible without nuclear energy, according to the article.

“I think it’s going to be a bit of a hybrid approach in terms of looking at what we already have that we can leverage off in terms of opportunities, and then what new opportunities does the government want to incentivize,” says Paula.

Paula also notes several provinces also have their own approaches to hydrogen development in alignment with their own priorities. “A number of [provinces] already have their own hydrogen strategies, which may align with the federal government, but of course, take into account the specific priorities and the different technologies and strengths that each of the provinces have,” says Paula. The article notes, [i]n Alberta, a report from Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Hydrogen Task Force says Edmonton could become Canada’s first “hydrogen node” and tap into a wholesale market potential of up to $100 billion per year.