Hydrogen Workshop Report

Can Hydrogen Power the North?

In January 2022, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) hosted an online workshop on hydrogen to explore whether it could contribute to the NWT’s energy mix and economy in the future.

In Canada and around the world, hydrogen is seen as an exciting technology to advance towards a zero-carbon economy. The GNWT has a mandate commitment to increase the use of alternative and renewable energy in the territory and it is interested in what role – if any – hydrogen might play in the NWT’s energy future. 

Workshop objectives

The objectives of this workshop were to:

  • Share what we know about hydrogen-based technologies. 
  • Initiate a conversation with our partners and stakeholders about the potential role for hydrogen in the NWT’s energy system and economy.
  • Identify the key questions that will need to be answered before next steps are taken. 

Workshop structure

The one-day workshop gathered 32 participants from various organizations across the territory, including economic development organizations from Indigenous Governments, communities, utilities, industry, non-governmental organizations, as well as the GNWT.

The workshop included a presentation outlining the makeup of the NWT’s energy systems and the main hydrogen technologies, group discussions on potential end-uses for hydrogen, as well as possible sources of supply and general discussions to identify common themes, challenges, and possible solutions.

The GNWT invited Dr. David Layzell from the Transition Accelerator, to take part in the workshop. The Transition Accelerator is a Canadian non-profit focused on designing and building region-specific, credible energy transition pathways that can develop the local economy, create good jobs, and improve quality of life, to take part in the workshop. The Transition Accelerator’s work and experience in hydrogen technologies as a key part of a net-zero economy provided valuable background, context, and guidance for the workshop discussions.

Next Steps

What we heard from this workshop will help determine if there is interest in exploring options for using low-carbon hydrogen as part of the NWT’s energy mix.

The GNWT is also using the workshop to inform modelling work to better understand what low-carbon pathways could look like in the North and to examine the potential for existing and emerging technologies to further reduce emissions in the transportation, buildings, and industrial sectors. This work will in turn inform the five-year review of the 2030 Energy Strategy planned for 2023–2024.

The GNWT has prepared a report summarizing what we heard during the workshop. You can read the full report here.