Alberta nets $9.74M federal investment to spur hydrogen economy
The funding from PrairiesCan is meant to support 1,600 jobs across the province.
The federal government is investing $9.74 million to advance Alberta’s hydrogen economy.
The funding, through PrairiesCan, is intended to improve access to hydrogen fuels, support product testing, attract investment to Alberta's hydrogen industry, and increase the availability of quality training opportunities to commercialize new technologies while supporting 1,600 jobs.
The federal funding comes through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems program, administered by PrairiesCan in the Prairie provinces. PrairiesCan makes targeted investments to support businesses in priority sectors to innovate, grow, and compete globally.
“Albertans are leading the way in hydrogen technology and we are working with industry and government partners to realize that potential. [The] investment is all about building Canadian expertise throughout the entire value chain to develop new hydrogen supply, distribution, and end uses that will support a green economy, a low-carbon energy ecosystem, and create and sustain good-paying jobs for Alberta workers,” said PrairiesCan Minister Dan Vandal in a statement.
Funding was announced for the following projects:
Edmonton Global is receiving $3.7 million for two projects to strengthen the regional hydrogen supply chain and expand investment initiatives to grow the Edmonton regional economy. $3 million will help increase the scale and scope of foreign direct investment initiatives that target specific subsectors such as hydrogen.
$744,000 will help it to develop the Edmonton region's hydrogen supply chain and labour market. It will help create an online database of regional small- and medium-sized businesses with capacity to move into the hydrogen supply chain, workshops focused on advancing the hydrogen economy, and engagement with businesses and post-secondary institutions to compile a hydrogen labour market assessment that will identify skills and training needs.
The Alberta Motor Transport Association and the University of Alberta are receiving $3 million. This is to increase access to hydrogen fuel and showcase the benefits of hydrogen technology for heavy vehicles. It will encourage the adoption of hydrogen fuel by Alberta's heavy vehicle sector—including freight trucks, municipal buses and heavy equipment—by supporting product testing to demonstrate the real-world capabilities of hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles. Key activities include acquiring hydrogen fuelling equipment in Calgary and Edmonton to carry out pilot projects involving hydrogen fuel for trucks, buses, and heavy equipment; providing fleet operators the opportunity to trial the use of hydrogen fuel; an educational and public awareness tour to engage industry; and the commissioning of a pilot hydrogen fuelling station in Calgary.
Edmonton's C-FER Technologies will get $3 million. This is to upgrade its testing facility for hydrogen fuel infrastructure, equipment, and technologies. Working with technology providers and end users, C-FER will conduct a testing program to ensure the safe, efficient, and reliable performance of hydrogen transportation and storage infrastructure.
"Alberta has the potential to become a clean hydrogen superpower. These investments, which are supported by more than $3 million in funding from the Government of Alberta, will help support the increased use of hydrogen technology in the years ahead,” said Dale Nally, minister of Service Alberta and red tape reduction, in a news release. “As the largest hydrogen producer in Canada, we are ready to do our part to help meet demand within Canada and around the world.”
According to the federal government, the global market for hydrogen as a fuel is expected to be over $11 trillion by 2050, and Canada's share of the global market for hydrogen is estimated to be up to $50 billion per year.
Canada is a top hydrogen producer, generating $200 million in hydrogen technology exports (e.g. fuel cells), and employing more than 2,000 Canadians in this industry.