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Public Accounts committee  I will defer to my colleague on certain details, but the blending levels.... I think this is one area where we continue to study what the effect of higher concentrations of hydrogen would be on existing infrastructure. That's where you get into questions around retrofits, as well.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  That's my [Technical difficulty—Editor].

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  The focus is on achieving the lowest carbon concentration possible with respect to the generation of hydrogen. We've framed our approach not so much on colours as on basically carbon intensity. That is a technological question, as to how you reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  We have taken the recommendations of the commissioner, but, as I said at the outset, the exercises that we were engaged in were different exercises. Natural Resources Canada had been engaged in what we have termed a “call to action”, because it was really intended to show the potential of hydrogen as a fuel.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  I would agree that it is expensive in the current circumstances, but that's one of the reasons we are making the investments we are making, in order to advance the technology and to create the scale that will see some economic returns.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  It means building on technologies that are evolving now, and there may well be new applications. We were talking earlier about carbon capture and storage. You're seeing technologies where one of the ways in which natural gas is reformed is to use microwave to essentially create solid carbon and hydrogen.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  When it comes from electrolysis, it is expensive, and it is relatively expensive to the feedstock of natural gas. Again, this is subject to evolution, and that's partially a question of investment.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  Mr. Chair, there are current applications of hydrogen—

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  But in a certain sense, hydrogen is hydrogen. There are current applications once one has created the hydrogen that exists right now, and that includes transportation. You're seeing applications in trains, for instance.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  I think the question becomes the manner in which you are generating the energy. One possibility that is being considered very actively right now is using wind on the east coast, where you use wind to generate the electricity that then converts the water into hydrogen. That—

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  We have active arrangements right now. We have an arrangement with the Germans, which is a structured conversation precisely to determine what that market will look like, and—

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  Your conversation continues on LNG as well. A number of drivers would lead the Germans to be interested in the conversations we are having right now. One of them is the fact that there is an energy challenge in Europe right now as a result of what's going on in Ukraine. Multiple sources of energy are attractive as a result of that geopolitical reality, but—

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  The other piece of it is that they are looking at alternative energies of a number of different varieties in order to meet their climate objectives. Hydrogen is at least one potential source there, as—

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  I'm going to diversify witnesses.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford

Public Accounts committee  I can take that one. The whole process was launched last June, and the initial phase was with respect to British Columbia, Newfoundland and Manitoba. Since then, we've launched across the country. There are still a few provinces outstanding, but conversations are well under way.

December 2nd, 2022Committee meeting

John Hannaford