The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that two decades after fuel cell mania sent shares of Ballard Power Systems soaring, investors are betting that the time has finally come for the universe's most abundant element to play an important role in tackling climate change. In a Globe special, Jason Kirby writes that perhaps Ballard was simply ahead of its time. In December, the federal government released its hydrogen strategy -- an ambitious vision for Canada's low-carbon future that foresees clean hydrogen providing 30 per cent of the country's energy needs by 2050. The source of what is known as grey hydrogen is far from clean. Most is produced by burning natural gas. "Hydrogen only makes sense if it is low- or zero-carbon energy source," said Simon Dyer at the Pembina Institute. "Hydrogen by itself is not a climate solution, unless you can deal with the emissions associated with its production." Green hydrogen results when renewable sources such as wind or solar are used in its production. The government says that low-carbon and zero-emission hydrogen has the potential to reduce Canada's annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 45 million tonnes each year by 2030 and create up to 350,000 jobs by 2050.
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