Low-carbon hydrogen key to meeting net-zero targets
Climate change leader Ontario Power Generation recently issued a Request for Market Information (RFMI) aimed at using Ontario’s clean electricity to produce low-carbon hydrogen.
The RFMI seeks information from leading hydrogen vendors for electrolyzer technologies ranging in size from 20 megawatts (MW) to 200 MW. Electrolyzers split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. This is a concrete first step as we move toward using low-carbon hydrogen in the fight against climate change.
In our Climate Change Plan, released last November coinciding with the two-year anniversary of the Province’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, OPG pledged not only to be a net-zero carbon company by 2040, but to act as a catalyst for efficient, economy-wide decarbonization by 2050. To meet that goal, we are advancing innovative and clean technologies and solutions, including hydrogen.
Low-carbon hydrogen has the potential to reduce or offset emissions in a variety of applications. It can be used to power fuel cells in vehicles, which could help replace diesel engines in the heavy-duty and long-haul trucking industry. Hydrogen can also be used as a substitute for high-emitting industrial applications such as steel- and cement-making. It is also possible to blend hydrogen with natural gas to reduce carbon impact.
“The clean reliable electricity we produce in Ontario has the power to fuel low-carbon hydrogen production,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO. “Our Climate Change plan pledged to drive innovation toward a cleaner future for Ontarians. This RFMI is a concrete step toward meeting that commitment.”
“The Ontario government sees tremendous potential in low-carbon hydrogen as a clean fuel, which is why we are developing a strategy for building the hydrogen economy in the province as part of our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan,” said Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “We believe Ontario’s clean electricity sector has a critical role to play as we drive innovation, attract investment, create more jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using low-carbon hydrogen.”
“Hydrogen’s moment has come,” said Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “It is the low-carbon fuel that will help us get to net-zero. Companies like OPG are working to lower emissions and develop opportunities for low-carbon hydrogen use.”
Low-carbon hydrogen production is ramping up and jurisdictions are committing resources to accelerate this process as they see this fuel as a key component of their long-term climate strategies.
Ontario is well-positioned to drive growth in a low-carbon hydrogen economy, with our low-carbon electricity supply supported by an extensive natural gas distribution system as well as several projects and companies already established and/or in development.
Ontario is moving forward with the development of a hydrogen strategy to create jobs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province. To inform this work, a working group of industry leaders and experts, including OPG, has been formed.
In late 2020, the federal government released its Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, which sets an ambitious framework to cement hydrogen as a key part of Canada’s path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and make Canada a global leader in hydrogen technologies.