Hydrogen could change the way we fuel our lives

Last week, Canada signed a major energy project with Germany that, once built, will transform the windswept Port au Port peninsula in western Newfoundland and Labrador into a hydrogen-producing energy powerhouse.

The first phase of the project involves the construction of 164 new wind turbines in one of the windiest corners of the country. The idea is to use the renewable wind energy generated by those wind turbines to produce what is known as “green” hydrogen, which can then be shipped to Germany to address growing energy security fears in that country.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the massive wind-to-hydrogen project is a direct response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, a geopolitical crisis that has prompted Germany, which has long relied on Russian energy imports, to look for other sources of energy beyond the current one. The Kremlin is willing to supply.

That’s where Canada and western Newfoundland come in with their wind resources.

The Canadian hydrogen market is currently worth about $6 billion per year, and Canada is one of the world’s top ten producers of this valuable element. The largest manufacturers of hydrogen are the oil companies. But now, wind power is poised to enter the fray, to tap into an export market that is set to grow.