A future where buses, train, trucks, cars, home heating and farm machinery all run on zero emission hydrogen fuel – that’s part of the new hydrogen hub vision unveiled on Wednesday (14th April) for Edmonton, Canada.

Thought to be Canada’s first hydrogen hub, the vision for Edmonton has been backed by $1.2m in funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), $600,000 from Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association and $450,000 from the Province of Alberta.

Such funds will help kickstart Edmonton Region’s low-carbon hydrogen economy, ushering in a wave of clean energy jobs and ensuring a strong economic future as the world shifts towards a greener future.

The hub represents an early hydrogen deployment hub as outlined in the Canadian Hydrogen Strategy and will serve as a blueprint of how to accelerate a strong regional hydrogen economy that can be replicated in other regions across the country with low-cost, low-carbon hydrogen.

With support from the Transition Accelerator, planning for the hub is underway for over 25 potential projects related to the supply, delivery and use of low-carbon hydrogen. Potential projects include the use of hydrogen for municipal and commercial vehicle fleets and home and industrial heat and power.

Welcoming the plans, the Honourable Jim Carr, Special Representative for the Prairies, said, “This investment to launch the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB to accelerate the production and distribution of hydrogen fuel is part of our government’s Hydrogen Strategy and will help us achieve our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”

“Today’s announcement demonstrates how our government is committed to investing in the economy, creating jobs and supporting our energy workers.”

A final report released by Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Hydrogen Task Force outlined that Canadian hydrogen has a wholesale market potential of up to $100bn a year and identified the Edmonton Region as the best launch point for a pan-Canadian hydrogen economy[1].

According to the report, the region is well-positioned for success because it has one of the lowest hydrogen production costs in the world, existing experience in hydrogen production, a vast network of pipeline infrastructure, and suitable and existing sites for carbon capture, utilisation and storage which are necessary to upgrade natural gas into hydrogen for use as a low-carbon fuel.

The report also found that the best way to quickly achieve sufficient scale for a strong Canada-wide hydrogen economy is through the creation and deliberate connection of regional hydrogen hubs across the country.

“Hydrogen has the potential to be not just a key part of the world’s cleaner energy future, but the future of Alberta’s dynamic energy industry. The launch of the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB is a critical step towards building that future by establishing the local connections which will pave the way for provincial, national, and international networks in the years to come,” said Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Government of Alberta.

“The Government of Alberta is proud to be a partner in the development of this first Canadian hub and we look forward to continuing our partnership with The Transition Accelerator, other levels of government, and industry as the hydrogen economy continues to gather momentum.” 

“Achieving the low-carbon economy required of us will be a challenge; the hydrogen HUB checks all the boxes representing solutions to this challenge including: practical use of our current energy sector infrastructure and resources, the opportunity to be a global leader in an emerging industry, and the local unprecedented collaboration needed to achieve our ambitions,” added William Morin, Vice-Chair, Edmonton Region Hydrogen hub and Chief, Enoch Cree Nation.