The B.C. Hydrogen Office, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, and the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy recently released research on hydrogen carbon intensity thresholds that could help shape the province’s emerging clean hydrogen sector and meet legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2050.
Building on the vision of the B.C. Hydrogen Strategy, the “Carbon Intensity of Hydrogen Production Methods” report was produced by Deloitte Canada and (S&T) Squared Consultants on behalf of CICE and the Ministry.
“Our government recognizes the importance the emerging hydrogen sector will have in reducing the impacts of climate change and contributing to British Columbia’s economy,” stated Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, this month. “The study … is crucial to making the right decisions regarding hydrogen’s role in decarbonization, and will help policymakers make decisions to support low-carbon hydrogen production and use in BC.”
Using the GHGenius lifecycle analysis model, the report quantifies the measure of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy produced, determining which hydrogen production pathways will have the greatest potential for application in B.C.
“The conclusions and recommendations in this ground-breaking report further define hydrogen’s role in the decarbonization of B.C.’s energy systems,” added Ged McLean, Executive Director of CICE. “A deeper understanding of carbon intensity across the various hydrogen production pathways means we can direct innovation where it will have the most impact and make strategic investments in clean energy companies with the greatest potential to scale.”
More than 50% of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel-cell companies are in BC, and the province accounts for about 60% of research investment in hydrogen and fuel-cell development.
“We know that hydrogen will play a critical role in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy industry and transportation—what we all need to focus on now is how and where hydrogen is produced and the carbon impacts of production,” suggested Nathan Steeghs, Partner in Sustainability & Climate Change for Deloitte Canada. “Otherwise, we risk investing a lot of capital into infrastructure that will have a marginal impact on achieving carbon reduction goals.”
As the market transitions away from higher carbon emitting energy sources, the work undertaken in this study can be used to develop policy, identify and select technology, and invest in production pathways that yield low-carbon hydrogen for use in BC, according to a statement from CICE.
The report can be found on CICE’s website.
Last year, CICE partnered with businesses and government organizations to launch the B.C. Hydrogen Changemakers Consortium.
The Consortium is part of CICE’s Hydrogen Blueprint Investment, which lays the foundation for the establishment of a hydrogen hub in Metro Vancouver, co-locating hydrogen supply and demand.
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