Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: As Canada adds green hydrogen and green ammonia projects, Wisconsin renewable energy companies may find opportunities to collaborate.
Clean energy production is pushing forward in Canada, as new projects begin from one end of the country to the other.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed an agreement in Newfoundland in August 2022 with the goal of exporting clean hydrogen from Canada to Germany by 2025.
In addition, EverWind Fuels, a Nova Scotia company that produces hydrogen and ammonia, plans to export ammonia to two companies in Germany from a plant that EverWind plans to build in Nova Scotia and begin operating by 2025. The facility will produce green hydrogen and convert it into green ammonia using a mix of certified green power from the Nova Scotia grid and onshore wind power. Further phases of the plant will be powered by offshore wind turbines, allowing production to increase to an eventual 10 million metric tons of ammonia per year, EverWind said.
Canada ranks among the top 10 countries in the world for ammonia production, with 3.9 million metric tons produced in 2020, according to Invest in Canada, the national investment attraction and promotion agency. Alberta is the leading region, producing about 3.5 million metric tons of ammonia per year.
Ammonia, largely used for fertilizer, is a stable way to transport and store hydrogen. It is also a zero-carbon fuel that is less expensive than hydrogen or methanol, Invest in Canada said.
In western Canada, meanwhile, several companies are using hydrogen-based technology for clean fuels. They include British Columbia-based Ballard Power Systems, a manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells, and Manitoba-based New Flyer, whose products include hydrogen-fueled buses.
Also, the province of Alberta is poised to become a clean energy hub. Alberta has the resources, infrastructure, and workforce to be a large producer of clean hydrogen for local and global markets, said Amit Kumar, a professor in energy and environmental systems engineering at the University of Alberta. Alberta is Canada’s largest producer of hydrogen. “The province is already well ahead of the production game, having developed large-scale hydrogen infrastructure and expertise,” Kumar said.
Canada’s federal government released its Hydrogen Strategy for Canada in December 2020. It is part of the country’s goal to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.