Canada and Germany have signed an agreement to team up on green energy innovation and trade — with an eye to hydrogen as the market for the low-carbon fuel heats up.
Signed today by the two countries’ energy ministers, the memorandum of understanding outlines a plan to co-operate on energy policy and research as both countries strive to reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan says Quebec and his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador are particularly well poised to start generating so-called “green hydrogen,” which burns cleanly and can be produced using wind and solar power.
“We have tremendous challenges and opportunities here in Canada,” said O’Regan. “There is no other democracy with the bounty of natural resources that we have and yet we face the urgency of climate change.”
O’Regan stressed the need to retrain workers in regions with economies long reliant on struggling fossil fuel industries, saying the transition could be “messy” and that “oil will be with us for some time.”
He also said liquefied natural gas could serve as a handy “bridge fuel” to cross over into green-energy territory. Germany is aiming to integrate LNG imports and hydrogen production into its energy strategy.
The two countries might not see fully eye to eye on hydrogen, with Canada focusing on so-called “blue hydrogen” that is typically derived from natural gas and coupled with carbon-capture technology to reduce emissions.
“We have been inspired by Germany’s leadership in the area of hydrogen and in the European Union’s green vision. We need you both as potential customers for our product,” said O’Regan.