What comes after the oilsands? Alberta may have another ace up its sleeve
Canada is already one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hydrogen
If you want to know how big the potential prize is for Alberta to grow its hydrogen industry, Associate Natural Gas Minister Dale Nally is quick to provide the answer.
Think of the oilsands, he says.
Nally’s new Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap, released last week, details a number of ways to measure success in the province for the emerging sector under a “transformative” future outlook.
It projects tens of thousands of jobs created during the construction of new projects, Alberta’s GHG emissions falling by five per cent and more than $30 billion in capital investment being attracted by 2030.
“For me, that is the minimum. I think we could do well more than that,” Nally said.
“This is an opportunity for Alberta to create generational wealth for the province. We have an opportunity to be a leader in clean, affordable energy.”
There is no denying the keen interest in developing hydrogen in a world acutely focused on decarbonizing energy systems. Hydrogen, which doesn’t directly emit carbon dioxide when used, is seen as a prime energy opportunity for the province.
More announcements are coming.
Nally compares the potential for Alberta’s hydrogen sector to the opportunity presented to the Lougheed government in the 1970s by the oilsands industry.
“It will not replace the oilsands, but I absolutely believe it could be as impactful as the oilsands, in terms of investment, in terms of jobs, in terms of royalties,” said the Morinville-St. Albert MLA.
The provincial blueprint, which Nally discussed Thursday at a net-zero emissions conference held by Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, aims to leverage the existing advantages Alberta already has in this area.
Canada is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hydrogen. Alberta produces about 2.4 million tonnes of hydrogen annually, primarily for industrial purposes.