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Former B.C. premier Horgan helps sell Canadian hydrogen in Germany

But recent agreement between Canada and Germany will largely benefit Atlantic Canada
B.C. MP and energy minister Jonathan Wilkinson (right) last month signed an agreement with Germany represented by vice-chancellor Robert Habeck (left) to help “acclerate” the commercial-scale hydrogen trade between Canada and Germany. Former B.C. premier John Horgan, who now serves as Canada’s ambassador to Germany, attended the signing ceremony in Hamburg, represented by its Lord Mayor Peter Tschentscher. (Twitter)

Former B.C. premier John Horgan helped sell Canadian hydrogen to Germany, but B.C. won’t be one of the immediate beneficiaries of a recently signed agreement between the two countries.

Canada represented by B.C. MP and federal energy minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Germany represented by vice-chancellor Robert Habeck last month signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a program to “accelerate” commercial-scale hydrogen trade between the two countries.

Horgan, who became Canada’s ambassador to Germany in November 2023, participated in the signing ceremony, which coincided with a larger industry-conference in Germany.

Wilkinson’s energy and natural resources ministry said in a statement that the agreement is “expected to largely support the development of clean hydrogen projects in Atlantic Canada due to their proximity to German markets” in building on the hydrogen alliance signed by the two countries in August 2022. Exports are scheduled to start in 2025.

“However, we are aware of companies in British Columbia exploring green hydrogen projects in their nascent stages and support research, development and innovation in this exciting clean industry across the country,” it reads. “B.C. is already a leader in clean electricity and the transition to net-zero and the Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia work together closely to unlock the vast economic opportunities associated with the energy transition in B.C.”

The statement said Horgan attended the entire conference and “provided support to Minister Wilkinson and the Canadian delegation” in his role as ambassador.

“His attendance was an important part of Canada’s work to build our strong relationship with Germany, including our bilateral work on climate action, Europe and democratic countries’ peace and security and transition to a clean economy,” it reads.

RELATED: Former B.C. premier Horgan is Canada’s next ambassador to Germany: Trudeau

B.C.’s ministry energy, mines and low carbon innovation said in a statement that B.C. applauds this “historic agreement” between Canada and Germany.

“Hydrogen is one of the best solutions we have to reduce emissions in sectors that are hard to electrify, such as heavy-duty transportation, industrial heat and natural gas decarbonization, making it a vital contributor to our fight against climate change,” it reads.

It adds that 50 per cent of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell companies operate in B.C., which has the “natural resources necessary to produce both green and blue hydrogen with low carbon intensity.”

It added B.C. is currently supporting 50 proposed or under construction hydrogen projects representing billions in potential investment and potentially thousands of jobs.

“Many of these projects are export-focused and aim to transport low-carbon hydrogen to global markets, such as Japan and South Korea,” it reads.

Horgan’s successor Premier David Eby has regularly promoted hydrogen projects in B.C. and last November signed a partnership agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey to help develop a hydrogen economy.

Furey’s province was also the signing location of the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance struck in August 2022.

RELATED: B.C. eyes green hydrogen economy with cross-country partnership

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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