Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: October 19, 2020

Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape:

Alberta To Leverage Natural Gas Reserves to Export Hydrogen

By 2040 Alberta will officially become a leading exporter of hydrogen energy, with at least two liquified natural gas projects lined up to assist in hydrogen production. The announcement comes as the Alberta government unveiled its vision for the natural gas industry, hoping that investments in clean-burning energy will bring long-term jobs to the province.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney noted the investment will attract global attention to the province:

“The potential for hydrogen is huge. Putting Alberta on the global hydrogen map now as this energy source is beginning to gain prominence, will be crucial for us to be at the forefront of future changes in energy.”

Already, Canada is a global powerhouse of natural gas production. Currently, Canada is the world’s fourth-largest producer of natural gas, with two-thirds of the country’s production coming from Alberta. As devised in the province’s official plan, Alberta hopes to leverage its unique geographical location to quickly export to Asian and European markets.

Jackie Forrest, executive director of Calgary-based ARC Energy Research Institute, said the new hydrogen plan taps into a segment with long-term and growing demand:

“If we turn our natural gas into hydrogen, then it is now part of the long-term future for energy. There is no need to decline our production because we found a new product that has growing demand.”

The province, which is well-known for its large oil sands industry, presents the region with a vast opportunity to curb its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With many oil sands operators having already made commitments to net-zero emissions, hydrogen energy development presents many of the country’s energy producers a path to accelerate their net-zero goals.

In addition to the province’s vision for hydrogen energy, Alberta is also aiming to become a prominent producer of petrochemicals as well as a recycling hub. Alberta’s government will be accepting grant applications to build petrochemical plants throughout the fall.

Canadian Energy Industry: Cleaner Fuels Requires Collaboration

Let’s work together to make Canada’s grid greener—that’s essentially what two of Canada’s largest energy companies are proposing to the federal government as the industry looks towards options to spur economic development amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Reuters, Suncor is asking the government for investment in a CAD$1.4 billion cogeneration project to replace carbon-intensive boilers with cleaner, stronger sources of energy like natural gas. Canada’s second-largest energy producer Suncor clarified they’re not looking for a handout, they’re simply asking to work together.

Martha Hall Findlay, Suncor’s chief sustainability offer, says the investment will make leaps and bounds for the industry which is facing challenges from the markets and COVID-19:

“Let’s collaborate. We’re not asking for a handout. It’s what do we have to do to make sure the business is economically viable.”

While the CAD$1.4 billion would be spent on several clean energy initiatives, the money would be used to replace petroleum coke- and natural gas-fired boilers and help remove coal-fired power from Alberta’s grid.

Findlay tells Reuters that Suncor is already in discussions with government officials on investments in nuclear reactors to power oil sands operations and more facilities that would focus on carbon capture.

For more Canadian energy news and setting the record straight on the day’s top stories about the oil and natural gas industry, visit Canadian Energy Network.

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