WHEREAS the energy industry is critical to Alberta’s, Canada’s, and the world’s future economic prosperity; and
WHEREAS Alberta, its municipalities, and its citizens are committed to Alberta’s economic recovery through economic diversification that will include being a safe and reliable supplier of energy worldwide; and
WHEREAS Alberta, its municipalities, and its citizens are committed to working with energy industry leaders taking action to address the global climate crisis; and
WHEREAS hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel that will further diversify Alberta’s energy sector, enhance our economic competitiveness in a changing energy market and be an essential component of the new clean energy system as the world shifts towards its low carbon future; and
WHEREAS Alberta is Canada’s largest petrochemical processing area with significant current and future investments in hydrogen production and critical to any federal commitments; and
WHEREAS Alberta and Alberta municipalities have taken tangible steps through investment in hydrogen initiatives to be leaders in this sector; and
WHEREAS Alberta is home to researchers and innovators in industry and within post-secondary institutions;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta advocate to the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada to increase their commitment to support and resource current hydrogen initiatives throughout the province so that Alberta and its innovative energy industry partners may become leaders in the developing hydrogen economy.
On August 23, 2022, the Prime Minister of Canada, following meetings with the Chancellor of Germany, announced the countries signed a joint declaration of intent to establish a Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance. The proposed Alliance would help establish a TransAtlantic Canada-Germany supply corridor, with the target of beginning export by 2025. There was little comment, or commitment, on Alberta’s role in this important and newly developing hydrogen economy.
It is imperative that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and the Government of Alberta act immediately and decisively to ensure that Alberta and its established hydrogen initiatives are able to take advantage of this market. Significant advocacy work is needed to ensure that the cross-Canada infrastructure needed to link Alberta resources to this new market opportunity are in place. Canada’s commitment cannot be met without Alberta and western Canada’s resources.
Stable and reliable energy markets have never been more critical. The vulnerability of the global energy markets has been highlighted since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Alberta must act on its competitive advantage to secure its position in the global hydrogen market. Alberta has the feedstock, supply chains, experience and is laying the foundation to capitalize on both. The development of Alberta’s hydrogen industry is actively supported by numerous organizations around the province. At the forefront of energy innovation are Alberta’s energy industry leaders.
Some of the lowest cost hydrogen production costs in the world are found in Alberta.
It is time that the advantages of Alberta are capitalized on with all orders of government, and their organizations, post-secondary institutions, and industry to ensure the opportunity of this generation, to be the world’s safe, most efficient and effective supplier of hydrogen, is not lost.
With the abundance of work being done in hydrogen development sphere, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada must facilitate the partnerships and communication that is needed to realize the potential of hydrogen and position this province to diversify the energy sector immediately for the short, medium and long-term prosperity of this province.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
In November 2021, Alberta released the provincial Hydrogen Roadmap to chart our path to becoming a leader in the global clean hydrogen economy space, ensuring our province retains its place as an international supplier of responsible energy products. The Hydrogen Roadmap recognizes that cost-competitive hydrogen with a low carbon intensity — in other words, clean hydrogen — is integrated at-scale within our existing energy systems, including transportation, heat, power generation and storage, industrial use, and exports to international markets.
Resolution 14-23S, carried by the RMA to support and advocate for hydrogen initiatives and the emergence of energy leaders in the province, is aligned with Alberta’s objectives and policy pillars in the Hydrogen Roadmap. Specifically, the RMA’s recognition that Alberta, its municipalities and its citizens are committed to Alberta’s economic recovery through economic diversification, including being a safe and reliable supplier of energy worldwide aligns well with the roadmap’s safety-first objective applied across the hydrogen value chain and our ambition to build new market demand for clean hydrogen.
In addition, the RMA’s recognition that Alberta is home to researchers and innovators in industry and within post-secondary institutions aligns directly with the roadmap’s policy pillar to activate technology and innovation, and to prove and scale-up emerging hydrogen technologies.
While Alberta’s immediate competitive edge is in hydrogen produced from natural gas, the Hydrogen Roadmap is technology agnostic and includes opportunities to produce low-carbon hydrogen from other production pathways, such as renewables-based production. Electrolytic hydrogen production can be achieved using renewable electricity and water. Emerging technologies like natural gas decomposition, underground gasification, and biomass-derived hydrogen production—all offer opportunities to diversify our hydrogen production while leveraging existing assets.
Alberta is investing directly in the hydrogen economy with the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program, which provides 12 per cent funding on eligible capital costs in Alberta-based facilities producing petrochemicals, hydrogen, fertilizer, and fuel products using natural gas as a feedstock. Alberta has also committed to providing $50 million in funding over four years to launch the Clean Hydrogen Centre of Excellence, administered by Alberta Innovates, to work with federal agencies and support local innovation in the hydrogen sector.
The Government of Alberta looks forward to continuing working with the RMA to attract investment capital to Alberta, support emerging clean hydrogen markets across our province, and expedite hydrogen carrier exports to international markets.
Although RMA is pleased that the Government of Alberta will continue to support the Hydrogen Roadmap and provide funding that was previously committed to the industry, the resolution calls specifically for increased commitment and resources to promote and support the hydrogen sector. As a result, the RMA assigns this a status of Intent Not Met. The RMA will continue to advocate to the governments of Alberta and Canada for increased supports.