A new study says Newfoundland and Labrador has the potential to develop a hydrogen industry worth $11 billion annually by 2050 that would support 140,000 jobs, based on abundant hydropower, wind and hydrocarbon resources.

The study looked at the role hydrogen could play in a low carbon future in Newfoundland and the broader Atlantic market.

The study provides a technical and economic assessment of the role hydrogen could play in Newfoundland and Labrador’s energy system transition. It explores the opportunities and challenges hydrogen production, storage, distribution and use could create for the province.

“This research confirms that the production of hydrogen has enormous economic growth and diversification potential for Newfoundland and Labrador,” Kieran Hanley, executive director of the Newfoundland & Labrador Environmental Industry Association.

Among the findings, the study found that local demand for hydrogen is projected to be lower in the province than elsewhere in the Atlantic region but that it is strategically positioned to establish a hydrogen export market to Europe that could generate significant jobs and economic growth for the region.

“This study is one of the ways (we are) exploring what the Atlantic region’s energy future might look like and how we can create new opportunities as we work to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050,” said Alisdair McLean, executive director of the Offshore Energy Research Association, which coordinated the study.

The Newfoundland and Labrador hydrogen feasibility study builds on an earlier one looking at potential in the three Maritime provinces, Net-Zero Future: A Feasibility Study of Hydrogen Production, Storage, Distribution and Use in The Maritimes, released in October 2020.

It was conducted by Zen and the Art of Clean Energy Solutions with support from Dunsky Energy Consulting, Redrock Power Systems, the Newfoundland & Labrador Environmental Industry Association, and Natural Resources Canada.