Canada: Partner of Choice for the Hydrogen Journey
Remarks delivered at the virtual discussion “Ambassadors’ Energy Talk in Berlin: Initiatives for a global H2 market”, held by the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries – BDEW
Berlin, January 19, 2021
Stéphane Dion, Ambassador of Canada to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe
- Dr. Rolle, Frau Andreae, Herr Benterbusch, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
- For a sustainable world, hydrogen must be part of the solution and that means that Canada is also part of the solution.
- Several of our countries have pledged to reach GHG net-zero emissions by 2050. 2050: that means only 29 years from now. To meet such a challenge, an essential tool will be clean hydrogen.
- I remember that when I was Minister of the Environment around 2005, I was invited, in front of the cameras, to drive a vehicle fuelled by hydrogen and told that this was the energy of the future.
- Yet, today hydrogen is still a niche, accounting for less than 1 percent of Europe’s energy consumption, mainly produced through high carbon-emitting pathways.
- However, this time, the world is seriously tackling this issue, and in Europe, Commission President von der Leyen expressed her wish to see the emergence of “new European hydrogen valleys”.
- Hydrogen is hot. Now is the time for governments to grow the sector and work to develop an international commodity market.
- According to the World Energy Council, while only three countries had a hydrogen strategy a year ago, now about 20 do, including of course Germany, which declared itself determined “to build up and intensify international cooperation on hydrogen at all levels”.
- Canada will be a partner of choice for this hydrogen journey, and I will explain why.
- Canada has been preparing itself for decades for hydrogen’s moment to finally come! The first hydrogen buses produced by Canadian company Ballard were featured at the 1986 World Expo in Vancouver.
- Today, as we speak, Canadian fuel cells propel over 90% of the world’s hydrogen bus fleet. Daimler selected Burnaby, British Columbia, as their hub for the next generation of fuel cells for cars and trucks.
- Last month, Air Liquide started production at one of the first large scale commercial hydrolysis facilities in Becancour, Quebec, with a 20 megawatt capacity.
- Since 2013, in Falkenhagen, 50 km east of Berlin, the world’s first commercial power-to-gas installation, now operated by Uniper, has converted excess wind and solar energy to hydrogen. The hydrolysis equipment was supplied by the Canadian champion Hydrogenics from Mississauga.
- And very soon, the first hydrogen-propelled push boat will begin freight shipments between Berlin and Hamburg, using Ballard fuel cells made in Canada.
- In fact, Canadian instrumentation and test equipment is used by major industries all over the world. We are a hub for technical expertise and leading products and services in the clean hydrogen and fuel cell sector.
- That is the solid ground on which Canada intends to fulfill its ambition, which is to become nothing less than a Top-3 producer of clean hydrogen and a supplier of choice to the world. Canada not only has the know-how, but also the resources and the strategy to achieve this.
- The resources: Canada is blessed with natural advantages, geographically large and diverse.
- Alberta has infrastructure for energy transportation and ample carbon storage capacity; Quebec has abundant green hydro-electric power. British Columbia faces Asia’s market, and the Atlantic provinces face Europe. Each region of our vast country will capitalize on its particular strengths.
- And now, Canada has the strategy, building on significant investments, strong carbon pricing and regulatory actions, and our Clean Fuel Standard to further drive hydrogen adoption.
- The Strategy will rapidly deploy hubs across the country, bringing together Canadian expertise throughout the entire value chain. This will build new hydrogen supply, distribution, and end uses to support a low-carbon energy ecosystem.
- Our Strategy opens the door to enhanced partnerships with your countries. We want to work with you.
- Canada has already bilateral and multi-lateral agreements in place with countries and regions around the world, including, of course, Germany and the EU. We want to make these partnerships considerably more ambitious for technology deployment and hydrogen production ramp-up.
- We are eager to play a significant part in building the global hydrogen market, as a cleantech leader and a reliable producer and supplier of clean hydrogen.
- Doing so, we will contribute to progress toward a sustainable, net zero, global economy… a world reconciled with our planet.
- Thank you, Dankeschön, merci du fond du cœur.
Report a problem on this page
- Date Modified: