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Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 - 9:00 PM

Topic: The Future of Freight and the Economy of Alberta 

With Alberta’s oil-based economy, vehicle electrification is often seen as a threat, undermining demand for gasoline and diesel fuels. However, it could also be a major opportunity for the province, especially if the vehicle’s electricity is generated from on-board hydrogen using fuel cell based drivetrains. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEV) are particularly promising as an alternative to heavy diesel engines for freight movement. The hydrogen can be made from natural gas, crude oil or biomass, and the carbon byproduct put back in the ground for permanent storage. This route to hydrogen production is a fraction of the cost of making hydrogen from splitting water with electricity so it could help to accelerate the movement to this zero-emission transportation fuel. Moreover, compared to Alberta’s current export markets for oil and gas, hydrogen production and export would return to the province, two to four times the economic benefit. A case is made for a ‘made-in-Alberta’ hydrogen economy.

Speaker: David Layzell is a Professor at the University of Calgary and Director of the Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) Initiative, and cofounder of The Transition Accelerator. In CESAR and the Accelerator, he works across disciplines and sectors to identify and implement credible, compelling pathways that are capable of transforming human systems for the socio-economic and environmental benefit of Canadians. Between 2008 and 2012, he was Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), a cross-faculty, graduate research and training institute at the University of Calgary. Before arriving in Calgary, Dr. Layzell was a professor at Queen’s University (Kingston) and the Executive Director of BIOCAP Canada, a research foundation focused on biological solutions to climate change. While at Queen’s, he founded a scientific instrumentation company called Qubit Systems Inc. and was elected ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada’ (FRSC) for his research contributions.

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