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Remaining challenges

While Canada has abundant feedstocks, established companies, and the know-how to build a hydrogen economy, there are a number of challenges still to overcome. Through the research and consultations that led to a hydrogen strategy for Canada, the following potential roadblocks were identified.

 

Economics

Large, up-front cost differentials on both the production and end-use sides and risk aversion to new technologies impede early adoption.

Innovation

The lack of sustained investment in innovation is hindering the advancement of technology needed to support the production and use of hydrogen. Without sustained support and investment, costs will not decrease, performance will not improve, new applications will not be developed, and Canada will not be able to maintain a leadership role at the cutting edge of clean technology.

Policies

The absence of clear, long-term policy signals that recognize hydrogen’s essential role in Canada’s net-zero greenhouse gas future can cause uncertainty for investors and slow adoption.

Codes and standards

Gaps in existing codes and standards (e.g. hydrogen blending limits in natural gas pipelines) need to be addressed to enable greater adoption of hydrogen and hydrogen technologies.

Availability

The limited domestic supply and access to low-carbon intensity hydrogen in many parts of Canada today is preventing both pilot and commercial rollout.

Awareness

The low awareness about the opportunities and safety aspects of hydrogen within the general public, as well as within industry and government, slows uptake.

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