The government of British Columbia has released its hydrogen strategy, which lays out how renewable and low-carbon hydrogen can help the province meet its climate goals while also creating new jobs in the clean-tech sector.
“B.C. can be a world leader in the growing hydrogen economy, creating new clean-tech jobs and opportunities for people across the province, thanks to our clean electricity, abundant natural resources, and innovative companies,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation. “This strategy outlines the steps we will take together to achieve our vision of net-zero emissions by 2050.”
The province of British Columbia is the first in Canada to release a comprehensive hydrogen strategy. The B.C. Hydrogen Strategy, which is part of CleanBC, includes 63 actions for government, industry, and innovators to take in the short term (2020-25), medium term (2025-30), and long term (2035-40). (2030 and beyond). Scaling up renewable hydrogen production, establishing regional hydrogen hubs, and deploying medium- and heavy-duty fuel-cell vehicles are among the strategy’s immediate goals.
“Hydrogen represents a huge opportunity for people and businesses in British Columbia to build a cleaner economy,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “As we move toward the net-zero emissions future that governments and businesses around the world agree we need, the B.C. Hydrogen Strategy lays out the path forward to increase clean innovation and investment, reduce emissions, and meet our CleanBC targets as we move toward the net-zero emissions future that governments and businesses around the world agree we need.”
With additional investments announced as part of Budget 2021, the Province is supporting the B.C. Hydrogen Strategy, including $10 million over three years to develop policy on reducing carbon intensity of fuel and advancing the hydrogen economy. In order to attract new investment in clean industry, BC Hydro recently introduced a discounted electricity rate for renewable hydrogen production.
Powertech’s testing services and fueling infrastructure products are recognized and trusted by automotive original equipment manufacturers and suppliers, energy companies, government and research organizations around the world, according to Raymond Lings, president and CEO of Powertech Labs. “We’re proud to be a part of B.C.’s hydrogen expertise and technology, and we’re proud to support CleanBC by providing the technology that powers most of the hydrogen stations in the province.”
With programs like the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the province is boosting the hydrogen economy (LCFS). Surrey-based Powertech Labs, a subsidiary of BC Hydro, will build and operate a light-duty hydrogen-fueling station that will also produce hydrogen onsite through electrolysis with the help of LCFS credits worth $1.7 million. The station will be open to the public and will support a BC Hydro hydrogen fuel-cell pilot.
Hydrogen emits no carbon dioxide when burned or used in a fuel cell. Hydrogen is one of the few options for decarbonizing industries where direct electrification isn’t feasible, such as heavy-duty transportation and industrial heating. Renewable hydrogen, when injected into the natural-gas grid, can be used to heat homes and businesses instead of fossil fuels. Hydrogen can also be used to make low-carbon synthetic fuels for transportation and industry, lowering emissions.
Colin Armstrong, president and CEO of Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corporation and chair of Hydrogen BC, said, “The momentum we’re seeing in this province is a direct result of our sector’s commitment to collaboration, and Hydrogen BC is a great example of this in action.” “Despite the fact that this public-private partnership has a diverse membership, we are all working to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies. Working together, we are creating the low-carbon future we want to live in and leave behind for future generations, from expanding B.C.’s fueling network to assisting heavy industry in decarbonizing.”
The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association’s regional branch, Hydrogen BC, was established with provincial support in 2020. The province of British Columbia is a world leader in hydrogen and fuel-cell research and development. B.C. is home to more than half of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel-cell companies, and the province receives roughly 60% of research funding for hydrogen and fuel-cell development.
Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, said, “Today’s announcement helps connect the dots to help establish B.C. as a North American hub in renewable and clean hydrogen.” “B.C.’s abundant clean energy, innovative businesses, and skilled workforce position the province to compete globally in the rapidly growing hydrogen economy. The race is on, and B.C. will need the right strategy and investments to secure its competitive position as countries like Germany and Australia direct significant investments into their respective clean-hydrogen sectors.”
B.C. is an ideal jurisdiction for investments in hydrogen production, research, use, and export due to its abundant natural resources, clean-electricity grid, existing energy infrastructure, strong climate policies, innovative companies, highly skilled workforce, and proximity to export markets. The province is well positioned to meet rising demand for low-carbon solutions and capture a significant share of the global hydrogen market, which is expected to reach $305 billion by 2050.