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Energy from hydrogen: the basics

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Hydrogen is the simplest, lightest and most abundant element on earth. Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be used to transport energy created elsewhere to another location. Hydrogen has the highest energy per unit of any fuel: the energy in 1kg of hydrogen is the same as approximately 2.8 kg of gasoline.

Hydrogen key facts

Text version: Hydrogen key facts

The hydrogen atom

Periodic table: element number 1, simplest element on Earth

Weight: Atomic mass of 1.008, 14 times lighter than air

Natural state: rarely exists in a free state

Energy carrier: stores energy first created elsewhere

Volumetric energy density: low volumetric density requires advanced storage methods

Detectability: invisible, odourless and tasteless

Abundancy: 75% of the mass of the universe

Gravimetric energy density: highest energy per mass of any fuel

The power to reach net-zero

The need to mitigate climate change is transforming energy systems around the world, and hydrogen has a critical role to play in the creation of a carbon-neutral future. To diversify our future energy mix, generate economic benefits, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, Canada must work to make a clean hydrogen economy a strategic priority.

A global opportunity

Momentum for hydrogen and fuel cell technology is growing globally, with the global market value expected to reach as much as $11.7 trillion by 2050. Canada has the potential to produce large amounts of low-cost, clean hydrogen in excess of its domestic demand, creating an opportunity for Canada to become a supplier of choice of a new carbon-free energy export commodity. Canada, known for its leading hydrogen and fuel cell technology companies, is also well positioned to attract direct foreign investment and continue to grow as a word-leading exporter of technology, products, and services.

Seizing the opportunities for hydrogen to build a sustainable, low-carbon future can support Canadians through:

  • Jobs


    Job creation across Canada in research and development, manufacturing and services.

    By 2050 :

    More than 350,000 Canadians from coast to coast could be working in the hydrogen sector.

  • Economy


    Hydrogen will become a new industry for both regional markets and international exports.

    By 2050 :

    The domestic market for hydrogen and related products is expected to be worth more than $50 billion per year, with export potential projected to double that value.

  • Environment


    We cannot get to net-zero on electricity alone. Clean hydrogen will help us get to where we need to be.

    By 2050:

    A fully developed hydrogen economy has the potential to deliver up to 30% of our end-use energy, abating up to 190 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of GHG emissions.

Explore the hydrogen economy in Canada

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