Ontario Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy - discussion paper

ERO number
019-2709
Notice type
Policy
Posted by
Ministry of Energy
Notice stage
Decision Updated
Decision posted
Comment period
November 19, 2020 - January 18, 2021 (60 days) Closed
Last updated

There is no requirement to post this notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, but we wanted to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your feedback.

Update Announcement

This Notice was originally posted by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP). The responsibility for releasing Ontario’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy was subsequently transitioned to the Ministry of Energy (ENERGY).

September 14, 2022

This consultation was open from:
November 19, 2020
to January 18, 2021

Decision summary

We released our Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy for Ontario, informed by feedback received on the "Ontario Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy" discussion paper and the Hydrogen Strategy Working Group.

Decision details

Ontario's Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy

Ontario's Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy was released on April 7, 2022, and sets out a vision for a low-carbon hydrogen economy in our province – one where we can leverage our many strengths to develop a self-sustaining sector in Ontario, evolve our energy system, create local jobs and attract investment while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ontario's hydrogen strategy sets out a path where eight concrete and immediate actions are expected to lead to an eight-fold increase in the province's production capacity of low-carbon hydrogen and support the nascent market to meet its potential. These are:

  1. Launching the Niagara Falls Hydrogen Production Pilot
  2. Identifying Ontario's Hydrogen Hub Communities
  3. Assessing the Feasibility of Hydrogen Opportunities at Bruce Power
  4. Developing an Interruptible Electricity Rate
  5. Supporting Hydrogen Storage and Grid Integration Pilots
  6. Transitioning Industry Through the Use of Low-carbon Hydrogen
  7. Consulting on an Ontario Carbon Sequestration and Storage Regulatory Framework
  8. Supporting Ongoing Hydrogen Research

Ontario also recognizes the importance of working with the federal government and other provinces and territories to advance commercial development of hydrogen. This strategy calls on the federal government to offer tangible supports and partnerships with the province including funding and risk-sharing opportunities, clear and efficient regulations that are harmonized across leading jurisdictions and support for innovation.

Comments received

Through the registry

74

By email

71

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

We received 145 submissions during the 60-day consultation period on the Environmental Registry for the Ontario Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy Discussion Paper, with comments from industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, municipalities and individuals.

The level of support among respondents was generally high, with 113 supportive, 28 neutral and 4 unsupportive. All comments were reviewed and considered in developing Ontario’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy.

After receiving input on the discussion paper, we established a Hydrogen Strategy Working Group (HSWG) to help further inform and guide the development of Ontario’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy. The HSWG met from February to June 2021 and was made up of experts from industry and academia.

Thoughts and considerations about a hydrogen strategy were also received from Indigenous communities that participated in an Indigenous engagement session held in March 2021.

The comments and feedback received through these various consultations and engagements have been summarized into seven main themes. The themes and how they are addressed in Ontario’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy are summarized below.

Theme Hydrogen Strategy Actions
Partnership and Collaboration Working with Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), Bruce Power, Enbridge, H2GO Canada and other stakeholders on immediate actions to support the hydrogen sector. Ontario will also collaborate with the federal government, municipalities, Indigenous communities, academic institutions and other key stakeholders on future areas of work to advance Ontario’s hydrogen economy.
Regulations, guidelines and legislation Consulting on an Ontario carbon sequestration and storage regulatory framework; prioritizing red tape and burden reduction; Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) proactive in developing regulations and codes to support the safe adoption and use of hydrogen; Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approval with support from TSSA of North America's first pilot project to blend hydrogen into natural gas pipelines.
Financial Incentives Support of Niagara Falls hydrogen production project through a Gross Revenue Charge (GRC) exemption; developing an Interruptible Electricity Rate; supporting hydrogen storage and grid integration projects through IESO
Market integration Identifying Ontario’s hydrogen hub communities (e.g., Niagara Falls, Halton Hills, Windsor, Nanticoke, Sarnia-Lambton); Ministry of Energy undertaking its own third-party led feasibility study to explore opportunities to establish new low-carbon hydrogen or clean fuel hubs in Ontario; Bruce Power launching a Hydrogen Opportunities Study.
Public awareness Ontario will share educational information with the public, including Indigenous communities, to increase knowledge of low-carbon hydrogen's environmental benefits and how its use can reduce emissions while growing the economy; support for hydrogen research (e.g., H2GO independent studies); collaboration with federal government (e.g.., federal hydrogen strategy working groups).
Education, training and business development Ontario launched the 2021-22 Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program Call for Proposals to increase career interest in skilled trades including those related to hydrogen; Ontario Skills Development Fund is supporting priority sectors such as advanced manufacturing and technology (i.e., which can include hydrogen technology); regional economic development funds can support low-carbon hydrogen in Ontario.
Research and Development Ministry of Energy undertaking its own third-party led feasibility study to explore opportunities to establish new low-carbon hydrogen or clean fuel hubs in Ontario; Bruce Power launching a Hydrogen Opportunities Study; funding support for two H2GO studies (i.e., supply-demand and hydrogen/carbon storage); Atura Power identifying hydrogen hub locations.

Supporting materials

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-2709
Notice type
Policy
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

November 19, 2020 - January 18, 2021 (60 days)

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

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from November 19, 2020
to January 18, 2021

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Michael Bishop

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Climate Change Program Development
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6th Flr, 135 St Clair Ave W,
Toronto, ON
M4V 1P5
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