Op-ed – Canada-Germany hydrogen agreement signals increased role for Atlantic Canada’s ocean energy resources

Op-ed by: Elisa Obermann, Executive Director, Marine Renewables Canada —

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed a Joint Declaration of Intent, agreeing to co-operate towards a goal of shipping clean hydrogen fuel from Canada to Europe by 2025.

Germany, like many countries around the world, is seeking long-term energy replacements for fossil fuels to meet climate commitments and to ensure energy security. As has been well-documented lately, hydrogen does not emit any carbon or other greenhouse gases when combusted, making it widely viewed as a key pillar as we move forward with global decarbonization efforts.

The Canada-Germany agreement marks a significant turning point for renewable energy in Canada. Developing more renewable sources is no longer just about reducing our emissions and fighting climate change at home, it’s an opportunity and necessity to provide solutions globally.

As we work towards decarbonizing the economy through measures such as electrification and meeting commitments to deliver green hydrogen, the amount of renewable electricity produced needs to increase dramatically. To supply both domestic and global clean energy, Canada will need to focus on tapping into all of its renewable energy resources, including those from the ocean.

With the longest coastlines in the world, Canada’s marine renewable energy resources–tides, waves, and offshore wind—present major untapped potential. Tidal energy offers a predictable energy resource that can support the uptake of other more variable renewable resources in the electricity system. Offshore wind can be developed at a greater scale than onshore wind, making it uniquely positioned to produce green fuels for domestic use and export to markets like Germany.

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