Following the announcement of Quebec’s green hydrogen and biofuel strategy (“the Strategy”), Nergica intends to apply its renewables expertise to the province’s emerging green hydrogen sector.
Already well established as a renewable energy research and innovation centre, Nergica owns a research site that is fully geared to help develop innovative solutions and processes for the storage and integration of green hydrogen in microgrids.
Proud of its expertise in this field, Nergica enthusiastically welcomes the action priorities announced in the Strategy that call for the production of green hydrogen, including:
- The production of synfuels from renewable sources;
- Energy storage and grid balancing for managing winter peak periods, notably to complement wind generation;
- Replacement of fossil fuels in off-grid networks;
- Production of biogas through methanation.
To this end, Nergica is currently working on developing microgrid management strategies to reduce or replace the use of fossil fuels in off-grid networks, notably through the use of hydrogen as a storage solution to better manage energy surpluses and thereby ensure better grid resilience. Additionally, these efforts are already in line with the Strategy, as they also aim to promote the mobilization of local and Indigenous communities in the development of the green hydrogen and biofuel sectors, which is one of the key objectives outlined in the Strategy.
The flip side…
More than anything else, the Strategy underscores the many challenges to be overcome in order to reach GHG reduction targets for 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Despite confirming the Government of Quebec’s objective to ramp up biofuel production by 50% by 2030, i.e. approximately 70 PJ of additional energy, no such target is established for green hydrogen production.
Additionally, despite the fact that the Strategy makes much of the inventory of lignocellulosic biomass available to produce first- and second-generation biofuels, it overlooks the potential of algal biomass for the production of third-generation biofuels. Also absent from the targets announced in the Strategy are the green hydrogen and CO2 capture requirements for the production of fourth-generation synfuels or biofuels.
Though not explicitly mentioned in the Strategy, we would be remiss not to point out that the deployment of the green hydrogen sector will be hampered by the sluggish expansion of renewable production capacity planned by Hydro-Québec.