The Potential of Green Hydrogen

Currently, hydrogen is used in refining and other heavy industry processes with approximately 90 million tonnes per annum being produced globally.  At present, almost all hydrogen production is “grey hydrogen” which creates carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases during the production process. As such, green hydrogen is quickly starting to realize its potential, resulting in the recent announcements of multiple large scale green hydrogen projects.

Green hydrogen is a zero carbon, zero emission fuel and energy storage medium that is produced using renewable energy, water, and electrolysers. During green hydrogen production an electrolyser employs electricity to split apart water molecules into their component parts: oxygen and hydrogen (this process is called electrolysis).  The present global capacity for electrolyser hydrogen production is low, but to meet forecasted demand, capacity is increasing rapidly.

Present global strategies to meet Net Zero targets are based on broad electrification and renewables deployment. Even with this wide-spread electrification and renewables deployment, it is expected that around 30% of industry, transportation and power consumption will continue to be based on greenhouse gas emitting fuels and energy carriers, these areas of our energy ecosystem are referred to as “hard to abate”. This is where green hydrogen is targeted to play a significant role as a clean energy fuel alternative to further reduce our reliance on greenhouse gas emitting fuels and tackle these hard to abate areas.

As a result, specific green hydrogen utilization opportunities many developers are targeting, and government agencies are supporting, include: long-haul transportation, ammonia production, select heavy industry and manufacturing operations, and other hard to abate power and heating system operations. It is important to note that these are all different uses from the present main use of hydrogen, and so, adoption and adaptation are expected to take some time.

Hydrogen is versatile in its production, its application and in its regional to global scalability, which makes it an attractive fuel and energy carrier to meet global Net Zero goals.

To meet their Net Zero scenario the International Energy Agency has forecast the 2050 global demand for green hydrogen to be in the order of 850,000 MW of electrolysers, or around 150 million tonnes of green hydrogen production. For scale, at Tent Mountain, we are currently proposing a 100 MW electrolyser facility.

In Alberta, there have been several “blue hydrogen” projects announced. To produce “blue hydrogen” the reforming process uses natural gas and water as feedstocks, additionally, carbon sequestration is required. Carbon sequestration captures and stores, in subsurface formations, a large portion of the carbon dioxide emitted during the “blue hydrogen” production process.   These “blue hydrogen” projects are all located close to natural gas feedstock and potential carbon sequestration locations and will target different end user industries than the Tent Mountain green hydrogen facility.

How is Green Hydrogen produced at Tent Mountain?

Green Hydrogen at Tent Mountain

Montem is assessing the feasibility of a green hydrogen electrolyser production facility at Tent Mountain. The Tent Mountain green hydrogen electrolyser will be one of the primary elements of the TM-REX.

As a multi component renewable energy complex there are cost reductions a green hydrogen electrolyser facility can take advantage of at Tent Mountain, these include: sharing portions of infrastructure, sharing operational staff and facilities, and optimizing the production timing of the electrolyser with the PHES system.

Another competitive advantage for Tent Mountain produced green hydrogen is the close proximity to potential end-users, whom we are in early commercial discussions with.

Water is a vital component of the green hydrogen production process. Montem will ensure that any water the green hydrogen production process uses is done so in a manner that complies with the regulatory framework.

The Provinces of Alberta and British Columbia are creating a very supportive regulatory environment for hydrogen production development, which includes emerging hydrogen transportation guidelines. Additionally, to encourage the development of low carbon fuels like green hydrogen, Alberta and British Columbia, along with the Federal government, have created funding opportunities and credit regimes to support this important rollout for the emerging hydrogen economy in western Canada.