Federal investment advances Alberta’s hydrogen economy

News release

Alberta’s hydrogen economy gets a $1.35 million federal boost

Funding of $1.35 million through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) will help modernize an Edmonton facility for Alberta firms to test their products and processes to demonstrate the value of Canadian-made technologies for the global hydrogen industry

November 9, 2021 – Edmonton, Alberta – Prairies Economic Development Canada

Hydrogen is a cleaner burning fuel that can help Canada achieve its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. As consumers around the globe seek out cleaner fuel sources, the hydrogen industry is set to grow exponentially. Some forecasts estimate the global market for hydrogen could reach over $11 trillion within the next 30 years. Alberta is in a unique position to benefit from this growth: access to low-cost natural gas reserves and a workforce skilled in the natural resource sector provide the province a competitive advantage to benefit both economically and environmentally from the development of new hydrogen technologies.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, announced a $1.35 million investment to further position Alberta as a leader in the hydrogen economy. Federal funding will enable C-FER Technologies to upgrade one of its Edmonton facilities for testing hydrogen fuel infrastructure, equipment, and technologies.

C-FER Technologies, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, works with companies across the energy sector to improve efficiency and environmental performance. C-FER provides full-scale experimental testing and specialized engineering consulting services from its Edmonton-based facilities. The upgraded facility will support Alberta companies as they develop and test new products or processes that allow for the safe and reliable transportation and storage of hydrogen, which is a key challenge for the industry. Approximately 50 small- and medium sized energy firms are expected to benefit from this initiative.

In addition to federal funding, Alberta Innovates is also providing $300,000 towards this initiative. Combined with industry contributions, the total investment is more than $2.8 million.

Today’s C-FER Technologies investment complements $1.2 million from PrairiesCan announced in April 2021 towards the launch of the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB, which is an alliance of government, Indigenous, academic and economic development leaders to kickstart the Edmonton Region’s low-carbon hydrogen economy.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada recognizes the tremendous opportunity for Alberta to become a global leader in the hydrogen economy and to benefit from both the economic and environmental advantages of hydrogen energy. By providing local firms a leg up in testing and validating their technologies for the hydrogen industry, we’re ensuring they can capitalize on growth opportunities, maintain their competitiveness, and create high-quality jobs for Alberta’s energy workers.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

"The City of Edmonton is supportive of local technology companies like C-FER that will accelerate the transition to a new energy economy that will create jobs, attract workers and talent to Edmonton, all while growing our economy. These local technology companies do this by not only making use of existing infrastructure but our economic region's core expertise in energy to develop new supply networks focused on next generation zero emission energy sources like hydrogen."
Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton

“Diversification is at the very core of Alberta's Recovery Plan, and we’re doubling down on Alberta’s role in a responsible, global energy future by diversifying our energy sector. Alberta is already a world leader in hydrogen production, and through investments like this, we will retain that leadership as we accelerate innovative technology solutions that will help grow our clean hydrogen production to meet national and international demand.”
Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“Hydrogen will be a key part of the world’s energy mix in the very near future. Alberta has both the natural resource and the skilled people to be a world leader in next generation energy like hydrogen. This support from PrairiesCan will enable entrepreneurs and businesses to accelerate the development of leading hydrogen technologies.”
Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

“Clean hydrogen will play a powerful role in cost-effectively decarbonizing the production of heat in Alberta, which is vital to achieve Canada’s long-term emissions and energy goals, particularly in our cold climate. This announcement is yet another step forward for Alberta, which has all the ingredients to be a leader in the hydrogen economy—including the ability to produce clean hydrogen at a lower cost than virtually any other jurisdiction in the world.”
Jason Sharpe, President, ATCO Gas & Pipelines

“C-FER Technologies’ clients are increasingly focused on addressing climate change and reducing environmental impact. Hydrogen will be a key part of the energy transition for Alberta and Canada. With funding provided through PrairiesCan, C-FER will continue to play a critical role in helping our clients address challenges, and adopt new technologies, in an evolving energy industry.”
Francisco Alhanati, Managing Director, C-FER Technologies

Quick facts

  • PrairiesCan is investing $1.35 million to enable C-FER Technologies to retrofit a facility to safely test equipment and technology designed to store, transport, and use hydrogen. 

  • The initiative will support small- and medium-sized firms working to develop new products, technologies and processes that enable the use of clean burning hydrogen as a fuel source.

  • Through the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, the Government of Canada has set a target of creating 350,000 hydrogen sector jobs across Canada by 2050.

  • The global market for hydrogen as a fuel is expected to be over $11 trillion by 2050, and the potential global market for hydrogen in Canada is estimated to be $50 billion per year.

Associated links

Contacts

Ryan Cotter
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
ryan.cotter@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

Rohit Sandhu
Communications Manager
Prairies Economic Development Canada
rohit.sandhu@prairiescan.gc.ca

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