Feasibility study demonstrates Calgary Region’s potential as a major hydrogen hub

February 2, 2023
New Economy Research & Reports Energy & Environment
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The Calgary region has what is needed to establish a major hub for the emerging hydrogen economy, concludes the report Towards a Fuel Hydrogen Economy in the Calgary Region: A Feasibility Study

The report authored by The Transition Accelerator for the Calgary Region Hydrogen Task Force says Alberta is “superbly positioned” to be a leader in the hydrogen economy. It recommends establishing a hydrogen hub in the Calgary region to build new value chains to produce, transport and use hydrogen as a fuel.  

“Calgary is a leader in all things energy and we are ideally positioned to play a pivotal role in advancing innovation and expanding the hydrogen economy in Alberta and Canada," said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. "The City of Calgary is looking forward to playing a part in this initiative. When we talk about the billions of dollars of economic opportunities for Calgary in the clean tech and our energy future, hydrogen is a critical aspect of our path forward. 

The goal of the study was to assess the potential for the Calgary region to participate and benefit from the emerging fuel hydrogen economy. The study identifies a $4.6 billion per year market potential for fuel hydrogen production that could be used in the Calgary region. It also encourages the development of hydrogen as part of the region’s pathway to a net-zero emission energy system.  

The report also recommends a Calgary region hub links with the Edmonton Region Hydrogen Hub and initiatives in other population centres across Western Canada to create hydrogen corridors that support heavy duty road and rail transport.  

Hydrogen is an energy-rich gas that can be produced with low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for use in heavy-duty transportation, as well as heat and power generation. It is produced through various methods including, natural gas reformation with carbon capture and storage, or water electrolysis using renewable electricity. 

Global market expansion for lower emission energy carriers like hydrogen are critical to meet national net-zero targets by 2050, a priority of the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, and Resilient Calgary: Council’s Strategic Direction 2023-2026. 

The report concludes that the Calgary region has substantial potential markets for fuel hydrogen as well as the potential to produce and transport low GHG hydrogen to points of demand.  

“Calgary is Canada’s cleantech innovation hub and companies here are already leading the charge on the path to net zero," said Brad Parry, President & CEO, Calgary Economic Development. "The Hydrogen Task Force is another example of Calgary and Alberta’s leadership in solving global challenges, including cleaner energy, which has the potential to create 170,000 cleantech jobs and result in $61 billion GDP by 2050.” 

The Task Force members include: Calgary Economic Development, Bighorn Energy, SpectrumH2, Rocky Mountain GTL, Canadian Pacific Railway, ATCO, Nikola Corporation, 2G Energy and Calgary Airport Authority. 

Task Force members represent all sectors of the value chain (production, transportation and end-use) critical to establishing a viable hydrogen economy. The Feasibility Study is the first of four steps to create a regional hydrogen strategy.  

It included eight recommendations:  

  1. Build a consortium around a shared vision for a fuel hydrogen future.  
  2. Partner with the Edmonton Regional Hydrogen HUB.  
  3. Connect with CP Rail, Calgary Transit and Alberta Motor Transport Association to support hydrogen vehicle trials.  
  4. Focus on smaller-scale, distributed hydrogen production to serve the fuel market. 
  5. Support carbon capture and storage for blue hydrogen production. 
  6. Support renewable generation and green hydrogen production.  
  7. Deploy hydrogen for heat and power generation. 
  8. Engage the academic community.   




For more information on hydrogen's role in Calgary’s energy and environment industry, visit our sector profile.

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