Ontario Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy - discussion paper

ERO number
019-2709
Notice type
Policy
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
November 19, 2020 - January 18, 2021 (60 days) Open
Last updated

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This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
January 18, 2021

Proposal summary

We released a discussion paper for public consultation to help us develop Ontario’s first ever hydrogen strategy so that we can create local jobs, attract investment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Why consultation isn't required

The ministry is not proposing any changes at this time. This is pre-consultation only.

Proposal details

Introduction

The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan is evolving to address the environmental priorities of Ontarians as new information, ideas and innovations emerge. Hydrogen is one area that we are exploring as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality, while creating opportunities for industry to grow. This is especially important since about 80 per cent of Ontario’s 2018 greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation, buildings and industry – all areas where hydrogen can be used.

As part of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee’s work, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks consulted with the clean technology and hydrogen sectors to understand COVID-related disruptions and how government could support the sector to continue to grow and prosper beyond the immediate recovery.

To help ensure that the hydrogen sector can continue to grow and create jobs in our province, we have released a discussion paper for public consultation that will inform the creation of Ontario’s first ever hydrogen strategy.

Our preliminary vision is to leverage our existing strengths to develop Ontario’s hydrogen economy, creating local jobs and attracting regional investment while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydrogen can help reduce emissions and de-carbonize Ontario’s economy

When used as a fuel (for example, in a fuel cell or burned directly), hydrogen emits no greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on how it is produced, hydrogen can help de-carbonize our economy and reduce our reliance on fuels that have a larger carbon footprint, together with other actions.

Low-carbon hydrogen, for example, produced from Ontario’s low-carbon electricity grid could be used as a clean fuel alternative or complement to fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, diesel and gasoline. Considering opportunities to support this sector could help Ontario’s longer-term economic recovery in all regions of the province as businesses rethink how they operate and grow.

Ontario’s role in the hydrogen economy

Low-carbon hydrogen production is ramping up and jurisdictions are committing resources to accelerate this process as they see this fuel as a key component of their long-term climate strategies.

Ontario is well-positioned to drive growth in a low-carbon hydrogen economy, with our low-carbon electricity supply supported by an extensive natural gas distribution system as well as several projects and companies already established and/or in development.

Opportunities for public input

Over the coming weeks, we will engage with stakeholders who would like to shape the development of Ontario’s low-carbon hydrogen sector, identifying competitive advantages and priority focus areas for industry and governments.

Stakeholders will include:

  • businesses
  • academics
  • the public
  • municipalities
  • others

We have also shared this discussion paper with Indigenous communities.

The purpose of this discussion paper is to begin a dialogue and to seek your input to:

  • better understand the needs of the sector, including consumers
  • better understand the challenges of supporting a complex hydrogen market
  • consider ways to enable the private sector to expand adoption of hydrogen and support regional growth

Deploying hydrogen in Ontario provides both opportunities and challenges to overcome. It will require governments and stakeholders to work together. This is why we want to hear from you. We will consider the input we receive as we develop a strategy to help grow Ontario’s hydrogen economy.

Some of the items we are seeking feedback on include:

Topic 1: The vision for Ontario’s hydrogen strategy

We want your input on:

  • the relevance of developing the hydrogen sector in Ontario and the benefits it may provide
  • key outcomes of a hydrogen strategy
  • how to define and measure success
Topic 2: Supporting the Environment Plan by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through low-carbon hydrogen

We want your input on:

  • key technology, regulatory and business opportunities
  • setting realistic targets/goals
  • associated environmental benefits
Topic 3: Generating economic development and jobs by building a hydrogen industry involving all regions of Ontario to create jobs and facilitate economic recovery, seek strategic partnerships and support innovation

We want your input on the role hydrogen can play for:

  • various regions and sectors
  • innovation and job creation
  • potential workforce development
Topic 4: Promoting energy resilience by considering the value of domestic hydrogen for Ontario’s energy bills and evolving energy system

We want your input on:

  • hydrogen’s role in a reliable and affordable energy system, including energy storage
  • barriers and opportunities in the energy system
Topic 5: Reducing barriers and enabling action in order to attract investment and create a level playing field between technology options

We want your input on:

  • Ontario’s relationship with partners (for example: private sector, academia, other governments / levels of government)
  • barriers and opportunities for growth
Topic 6: Using hydrogen where and when it makes sense, focusing on areas that are most likely to become cost-effective

We want your input on the following elements of the hydrogen strategy:

  • timeframe
  • potential for cost reductions across the supply chain
  • identifying and managing risks

Feedback

We welcome your feedback on these opportunities and other considerations. The discussion paper that is posted in the Supporting materials section of this notice provides further background information on hydrogen, including:

  • Ontario’s advantages and opportunities
  • discussion questions

The feedback we receive will help us develop a low-carbon hydrogen strategy for Ontario.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Comment

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Contact

Michael Bishop

Phone number
Email address
Office
Climate Change Program Development
Address

6th Flr, 135 St Clair Ave W,
Toronto, ON
M4V 1P5
Canada

Office phone number

Connect with us

Contact

Michael Bishop

Phone number
Email address
Office
Climate Change Program Development
Address

6th Flr, 135 St Clair Ave W,
Toronto, ON
M4V 1P5
Canada

Office phone number

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