A strategy to decarbonize, innovate and shine
The Québec Green Hydrogen and Bioenergy Strategy has the purpose of creating a coherent framework and a favourable environment to accelerate the production, distribution and use of green hydrogen and bioenergy.
These energy sectors can provide solutions to replace fossil fuels and reduce GHG emissions, even in the most polluting sectors of activity, such as transportation and industry.
In the pursuit of its energy transition and on the strength of its natural resources, Québec intends to increase the role of green hydrogen and bioenergy in its energy portfolio in view of decarbonizing and strengthening its economy.
Why focus on green hydrogen and bioenergy?
Québec has set objectives to fight climate change:
- reduce its GHG emissions 37.5% below the 1990 level by 2030
- reduce its consumption of petroleum products 40% below the 2013 level by 2030
- achieve carbon neutrality by the 2050 horizon
Vigorous measures are necessary to achieve these targets, effective immediately. A vast electrification initiative has begun in every sector of our economy. Many energy efficiency projects are also being conducted to reduce our energy needs.
But this will not be enough to reduce our GHG emissions. To achieve our targets, we must turn to other forms of renewable energy.
It is estimated that green hydrogen and bioenergy will play a major role in the success of the global energy transition.
In 2030, green hydrogen and bioenergy will have the potential to reduce consumption of petroleum products by nearly one billion litres per year in Québec. This could reduce our GHG emissions by 4 megatonnes of CO2 per year, which would be equivalent to removing 1.2 million gasoline vehicles from the roads.
By the 2050 horizon, according to the International Energy Agency, global hydrogen demand could be multiplied by five and bioenergy production could meet 20% of global energy needs, if global carbon neutrality is targeted.
Québec can count on its advantages to develop its new energy sectors:
- renewable electricity at a competitive cost
- a reliable and robust electric power distribution grid
- diversified residual biomass distribution throughout the territory
- research and development centres with recognized knowhow and collaboration between researchers and industrialists
- favourable policies for achievement of projects
Moreover, Québec is already active in the hydrogen and bioenergy fields:
- Québec’s expertise in hydrogen research and development is recognized. The improvement of electrolyzer technologies and the low costs of renewable electricity make it possible to envision a profitable and competitive green hydrogen production sector in Québec.
- Bioenergy represented 8% of the energy consumed in Québec in 2019. Québec has planned to increase production by 50% by 2030. According to a study conducted in 2021, residual biomass from forest, agricultural, municipal, commercial and industrial sources available here will be sufficient to envision such growth.
Renewable energy to discover
This renewable energy, produced in different forms (liquid, solid or gaseous), can advantageously replace the use of fossil fuel, particularly in sectors where conversion to electricity is not technically feasible.
Defining a framework conducive to development
The 2030 Québec Green Hydrogen and Bioenergy Strategy has the goal of creating suitable governance and favourable conditions for the development of the hydrogen and bioenergy sectors.
Five guiding principles
The Strategy will be articulated around five guiding principles:
- Contribute to decarbonizing Québec by capitalizing on the complementarity of the two sectors with the reduction of consumption (energy sobriety and efficiency) and direct electrification.
- Develop natural resources and residual materials sustainably by making circular economy and lifecycle analysis central to green hydrogen and bioenergy projects.
- Foster the collaboration and participation of regional, local and Indigenous communities in the deployment of the green hydrogen and bioenergy sectors.
- Attract investment and export Québec knowhow.
- Contribute to Québec’s energy by substituting renewable energy produced in Québec for imported fossil fuels.
Challenges to meet
The green hydrogen and bioenergy sectors seem to present common challenges:
- ensure optimum use of Québec’s natural and energy resources;
- close the current price differences and thus promote their competitiveness in relation to the cost of fossil fuels;
- increase networking among industry, government and research actors;
- accelerate development and the technology transfer to the industrial environment.
The development strategy for these sectors will depend on sound use of the available resources and renewable electricity, in view of ensuring their sustainability. The projects will have to maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts in Québec.
The Strategy contains clear directions intended for the business partners, with criteria to consider in the evaluation of a project:
- the project's relevance to direct electrification, supported by a vision without regrets with the aim of prioritizing uses in an informed approach;
- the contribution in terms of the energy transition and reduction of GHG emissions in Québec, which may arise from these projects, and the time in which these effects will materialize;
- the level of investment required and the economic impacts projected, particularly in the regions;
- the structuring effect of the project on the value chain (for example, stimulation of demand in current or new niches, development of Québec expertise and innovation, consolidation of a local manufacturing base, or creation of technological complementarity);
- technical feasibility (maturity of technologies and the necessary infrastructures), market volume and long-term potential for use and the duration for which State financial support would be required.
A detailed roadmap
The measures that will be implemented to concretize the Strategy are detailed in the Green Hydrogen and Bioenergy Roadmap, which can be found in the appendix to the Strategy.
This roadmap will be updated every five years, so as to ensure its evolution according to the Québec energy, economic and technological context.
This tool is part of the 2026 Québec Energy Transition, Innovation and Efficiency Master Plan . Some measures are also present in the Implementation Plan for the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy. This is why follow-up, evaluation and accountability of the Strategy will be included in the mechanisms of the Master Plan and the Plan for a Green Economy.
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