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Alberta optimistic for hydrogen strategy that relies heavily on carbon capture technology

The Alberta government wants the province to become a hydrogen powerhouse by 2030, relying on the natural gas industry to export hydrogen.

The Alberta’s Hydrogen Roadmap, released Friday, relies heavily on using early carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aim for Canada’s net zero goals.

The approach also relies on help from the federal government to fund some of the expensive upfront costs of the CCUS expansion, Prime Minister Jason Kenney said at a press conference on Friday.

“Hydrogen gives the world an exciting new tool to build a stronger and more reliable low-emission energy future,” said Kenney. “And Alberta is in a unique position to become a dominant global player in this burgeoning new technology.

The report portrays a future where hydrogen is integrated into the province’s electricity and heating systems, powers the trucking and transit sector, used in industrial processes and exported internationally .

Although the strategy cites $ 30 billion in capital investment by 2030 as a target, the government has made no specific funding commitments. He says existing policies, such as the province’s lower corporate tax rate, a petrochemical incentive program, and loan guarantees for Indigenous-run companies, are hanging carrots for investors.

Kenney says the plan will be a key driver of economic recovery, create thousands of jobs and position the province to “write a new chapter in Alberta’s rich history as a global energy supplier.”

The report notes that the technology to transport hydrogen over long distances inexpensively and efficiently is still under development.

The strategy provides for an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 14 megatonnes per year by 2030 by integrating hydrogen into industrial processes.

In 2019, Alberta emitted nearly 276 megatonnes of greenhouse gases, half of which came from oil and gas.

The report says Alberta should first rely on more emission-intensive hydrogen production processes using natural gas. Ultimately, it could generate more so-called “green” hydrogen by using renewable energies to separate water molecules.

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