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Scoping Ontario’s Potential for Low-Carbon Hydrogen Production and Storage

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Energy Bulletin

Ontario has significant, as yet untapped, capacity to produce green hydrogen and store it in vast underground reservoirs in the province, according to two studies set to be released later this month (October 2022).

H2GO Canada, a Canadian not-for-profit organization focused on accelerating the development of a market for hydrogen as an alternative fuel and energy source, is planning to release its Ontario Hydrogen Foundation Studies in the Fall of 2022, in part to coincide with Energy Storage Canada’s annual conference taking place in Toronto on October 11 and 12.

According to the studies, Ontario’s production and seasonal storage capacity could play a key role in making the province a Canadian leader in low-carbon “green” hydrogen production, use and export.

The H2GO Canada studies focus on scoping the commercial potential for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen storage in Ontario to 2035, and forecasting the potential demand for low-carbon hydrogen in Ontario to 2050.

One of the objectives of the studies is to assist a wide range of commercial stakeholders coordinate their investments and understand better the feasibility of developing hydrogen across sectors in Ontario.

The Foundation Studies follow the release of Ontario’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy presented to the public on April 7, 2022, in which the province established its ambition to fully lever the potential of hydrogen systems to support economic growth and environmental sustainability.

The Ontario hydrogen strategy forms part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change established by the Government of Canada and the Provinces, to lay out dual objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a level that is consistent with the goals of Paris Agreement of 2015 and growing the economy in all regions of the country, propelled in part through the adoption of innovative, low-carbon intensity fuels and technologies.

According to the H2GO Canada Foundation Studies:

“The production, distribution and use of hydrogen is central to many jurisdictions’ decarbonization plans, including in Canada. This is because hydrogen can serve as a versatile and fungible energy commodity that can help meet the demand for heat, power, and mobility, while emitting exceptionally low levels of greenhouse gases along its life cycle. Hydrogen itself is a carbon-free molecule and, provided it is synthesized from sources that are themselves low in carbon-intensity, it can play a significant role in broadly decarbonizing energy systems, especially where other low-carbon solutions, such as direct electrification are impractical. Further to its prospective role as low-carbon fuel, it can also be used to reduce the carbon-intensity of industrial manufacturing processes (e.g., low-carbon hydrogen displacing coal in steelmaking)”.

The underlying research and techno-economic modelling set out in H2GO Canada Foundation Studies is being led by engineers at Change Energy Services, with support from an external advisory group that includes members of the Fasken Hydrogen Energy Advisory Team (H2EAT).

Funding for the studies is being provided by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks; Natural Resources Canada; Atura Power; Enbridge Gas; Greenfield Global; Imperial and Toyota Canada.

In particular, the Foundation Studies utilize a novel techno-economic model to establish a reference case in which low-carbon hydrogen production, distribution, and use could develop in Ontario.

“Using this model and a set of researched data inputs, the magnitude of the supply of, and demand for, low-carbon hydrogen in the Province of Ontario is forecasted to 2050, by considering the potential growth of end user markets and the required production and distribution infrastructure. According to the scenarios simulated, the model yields estimates of capital expenditures, operating expenses, carbon-intensities and GHG emissions, and job creation and resource requirements”.

The Foundation Studies also consider the geological storage opportunities within the Province of Ontario for (1) permanent sequestration of carbon dioxide, (2) for fixing of carbon as a elemental carbon and (3) for temporary storage of hydrogen as part of a system of distribution, and examines the potential for storage to enable commercialization of CCUS and of hydrogen markets in Ontario.

H2GO Canada’s Hydrogen Foundation Studies will provide interested stakeholders a foothold in determining the future feasibility of hydrogen markets in Ontario. To learn more, please contact Dan Brock or visit the H2GO Canada website at

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