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Green hydrogen and bioenergy strategy for Quebec

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The objective of the Québec Green Hydrogen and Bioenergy Strategy is to establish a cohesive framework and a conducive environment for accelerating the production, distribution, and utilization of green hydrogen and bioenergy.

Even in the most polluting industries, like as transportation and industrial, these energy sectors can provide alternatives to fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Québec aspires to enhance the proportion of green hydrogen and bioenergy in its energy portfolio in order to decarbonize and improve its economy in pursuit of its energy transition and leveraging its natural resources.

Why emphasis on green hydrogen and bioenergy?

Québec has established the following goals to combat climate change:

  • lower its GHG emissions by 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030;
  • cut its consumption of petroleum products by 40% below 2013 levels by 2030;
  • and attain carbon neutrality by 2050.

Immediate aggressive efforts are required to achieve these objectives. In every sector of our economy, a major electrification push has begun. Numerous energy efficiency projects are also being implemented to lower our energy use.

But this will not suffice to minimize our greenhouse gas emissions. To reach our goals, we must utilize alternative kinds of renewable energy.

Incomparable potential

Green hydrogen and bioenergy are anticipated to play a significant part in the success of the global energy transition.

In 2030, green hydrogen and bioenergy will have the ability to reduce Quebec’s annual consumption of petroleum products by approximately one billion liters. This might reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 4 megatons of CO2 annually, which is comparable to eliminating 1,2 million gasoline-powered automobiles from the road.

According to the International Energy Agency, the worldwide need for hydrogen might be tripled by five by 2050, and bioenergy production could meet 20 percent of the world’s energy needs, assuming carbon neutrality is the goal.

Québec’s advantages

Quebec can develop its new energy industries based on its advantages:

  • renewable electricity at a competitive price;
  • a reliable and robust electric power distribution grid;
  • diversified distribution of residual biomass throughout the territory;
  • research and development centers with recognized know-how and collaboration between researchers and industry;
  • favorable policies for project realization

Furthermore, Quebec is already involved in the domains of hydrogen and bioenergy:

  • Recognized is Quebec’s expertise in hydrogen research and development. It is possible to imagine a lucrative and competitive green hydrogen manufacturing sector in Québec due to the advancement of electrolyzer technology and the cheap cost of renewable electricity.
  • In 2019, eight percent of the energy utilized in Quebec was bioenergy. Quebec has anticipated a 50 percent production increase by 2030. According to a 2021 research, the residual biomass available from forest, agricultural, municipal, commercial, and industrial sources will be sufficient to support such development.
Establishing a structure favorable to development

The objective of the 2030 Québec Green Hydrogen and Bioenergy Strategy is to establish appropriate governance and favorable conditions for the growth of the hydrogen and bioenergy sectors.

Five guiding concepts

The Strategy will be expressed in terms of the following five guiding principles:

  • Contribute to the decarbonization of Quebec by leveraging on the complementarity between the two sectors of consumption reduction (energy frugality and energy efficiency) and direct electrification;
  • Develop natural resources and waste materials in a sustainable manner by placing the circular economy and lifecycle analysis at the core of green hydrogen and bioenergy projects;
  • Encourage regional, local, and Indigenous community collaboration and engagement in the implementation of the green hydrogen and bioenergy sectors;
  • Attract investment and export Quebec’s technological expertise;
  • Contribute to the energy of Québec by replacing locally produced renewable energy for imported fossil fuels.
Challenges to meet

The green hydrogen and bioenergy industries appear to face similar challenges:

  • ensure best use of Québec’s natural and energy resources;
  • Close the existing price gaps and increase their competitiveness relative to the price of fossil fuels;
  • promote networking between industry, government, and research;
  • speed development and the transfer of technologies to the industrial setting.
Priority measures

In order to ensure the long-term viability of these industries, their development plan will rely on judicious use of available resources and renewable energy. The initiatives must optimize their economic, social, and environmental effects in Quebec.

The Strategy provides specific guidelines for commercial partners, as well as evaluation criteria for projects, including:

  • the project’s relevance to direct electrification, supported by a regret-free vision with the objective of prioritizing uses through an informed approach;
  • the potential contribution of these projects to the energy transition and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec, as well as the timing of these effects;
  • the degree of investment necessary and the anticipated economic impacts, especially in the regions;
  • the effect of the project on the value chain (such as stimulation of demand in existing or new niches, growth of Québec knowledge and innovation, consolidation of a local manufacturing base, or creation of technical complementarity);
  • technical feasibility (maturity of technologies and the associated infrastructures), market volume and long-term use potential, and the period of State financial support required.

In the document’s appendix, the measures that will be implemented to concretize the Strategy are described in depth. These policies will be revised every five years to guarantee that they evolve with the energy, economic, and technological context of Quebec.

The changes will be implemented as part of the Québec Energy Transition, Innovation, and Efficiency Master Plan. This link will launch a new browser window. update. Some actions are also included in the Implementation Plan for the Green Economy 2030 Plan. For this reason, the Master Plan and the Plan for a Green Economy will incorporate systems for monitoring, evaluating, and holding the Strategy accountable.

Nedim Husomanovic

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