Study finds hydrogen has key role to play in Maritime energy future
A newly released study finds that hydrogen has the potential to play a key role in the future energy mix of the Maritimes, and regional leaders should act now to align policy and investment.
Net-Zero Future: The Feasibility Study of Hydrogen Production, Storage, Distribution and Use in the Maritimes evaluates the full hydrogen value chain from production, storage and distribution through to end-use applications. The study is a collaborative effort coordinated by the Offshore Energy Research Association and funded by Heritage Gas Limited, Liberty Utilities, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Among other findings, the study concludes the largest potential demand for hydrogen by 2050 is expected to be for heating, and natural gas distribution networks and new hydrogen pipelines can be the most effective delivery option.
According to the study, the Maritimes is an attractive region for hydrogen blending into the natural gas distribution system. That’s because the natural gas infrastructure here is relatively new and primarily based on polyethylene piping that is compatible with hydrogen, making implementation easier.
Moreover, the study says the gas distribution system is relatively small compared to other provinces, so incorporating even a small amount of hydrogen will move the needle toward reaching greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
“This study shows that hydrogen is a sustainable source of energy that can help the Maritimes address climate change and achieve economic growth," says Alisdair McLean, executive director of the Offshore Energy Research Association, an independent, impartial, not-for-profit organization that facilitates research aimed at encouraging the sustainable development of energy resources.
The study finds that in order for the Maritimes to realize hydrogen's full potential, the provinces must take a regionally cooperative approach to energy policy. Among its recommendations are development of a clean energy roadmap for the Atlantic region, creation of a strong regulatory framework with incentives to decarbonize the region's energy system, and aligned action plans, policies and projects that encourage local industry participation.
A study led by Zen Clean Energy Solutions, and involving a project committee that included Atlantica Centre for Energy senior policy consultant Neil Jacobsen, reviewed all aspects of hydrogen from creation to end-use, and evaluated economic and technical constraints along with opportunities for the Maritimes. A webinar taking place on Nov. 25 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. AST will provide an overview of the study's key findings. The event is open to all with pre-registration.