Archived—Archived Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the h2EA Program

Important Information

The terms and conditions of the Hydrogen Early Adopters program expired on March 31, 2008.

No new projects will be contracted, but all existing contracted projects will continue, managed through the Industrial Technologies Office.
  1. What is the h2 Early Adopters program?
  2. How did it work?
  3. What is meant by hydrogen-compatible technologies?
  4. What are the advantages of hydrogen?
  5. Is hydrogen safe?
  6. What is the difference between the h2EA program and the TPC program?
  7. Who was eligible under the h2EA program?

1. What is the h2 Early Adopters program?

The h2 Early Adopters (h2EA) program was designed to enable government and industry to work in partnership, as members of a team, to demonstrate new hydrogen technology concepts, such as "hydrogen highways" and "hydrogen villages". Technology Partnerships Canada implemented the program, which is now managed by the Industrial Technologies Office, an agency of Industry Canada.

The Terms and Conditions of the h2EA program expire on March 31, 2008. No new projects will be contracted under the program.

2. How did it work?

The program supported projects involving a consortium of two or more private and/or public sector partners, to demonstrate on an integrated basis in real-world settings, the use of a wide range of hydrogen and hydrogen-compatible technologies in specific locations across Canada.

The program supports several projects that include such concepts as "hydrogen highways" and "hydrogen villages" that are being explored by firms and governments in various parts of the country.

These projects enable firms to test and showcase their technologies in working pilot-scale versions of a hydrogen economy and will help increase investor and consumer awareness of Canadian capabilities and of the many benefits and uses of hydrogen-powered applications.

Eligible areas were hydrogen and hydrogen-compatible technologies that facilitate the transition to a hydrogen economy. Eligible recipients were required to be a consortium consisting of two or more entities working together to demonstrate hydrogen technologies and their integration into a comprehensive working model of a hydrogen economy.

3. What is meant by hydrogen-compatible technologies?

Any sources of energy or technology used to further the development of a hydrogen economy such as wind-power and solar-power for example, as well as fuel cell technologies using products other than hydrogen.

4. What are the advantages of hydrogen?

Hydrogen has long been considered close to ideal as a fuel due to its abundance, flexibility of production, and environmentally friendly characteristics. Advantages of hydrogen include: when used in fuel cells, it is totally non-polluting (water is the only emission); and, it can be produced in any country using domestically available hydrocarbons or electrical power. A distinct advantage of a hydrogen-based economy lies in the fact that it would be based on a concept of distributed energy.

5. Is hydrogen safe?

Hydrogen is as safe as any other sources of energy. Consider the facts:

  • Hydrogen disperses quickly. Being an extremely light molecule, hydrogen rises and spreads quickly in the atmosphere. If a leak were to occur, the hydrogen gas would quickly become so sparse that the risk of it burning would decrease just as rapidly.
  • Hydrogen is a non-toxic compound. By comparison, most petroleum products are poisonous to humans.
  • Hydrogen combustion produces only water. When pure hydrogen is burned in the air, only pure water is produced.
  • Hydrogen can be stored and distributed safely. Tanks currently being used for the storage and shipment of compressed hydrogen have been through rigorous testing, completed for their certification.

6. What is the difference between the h2EA program and the TPC program?

The h2 Early Adopters (h2EA) program supported demonstration projects, enabling consortia formed of two or more to test and showcase their existing technologies in working integrated models that will contribute to the development of a hydrogen economy. The Technology Partnerships Canada research and development program supported individual companies in pre-commercial development projects that develop new technologies.

7. Who was eligible under the h2EA program?

Eligible recipients had to be consortia formed of two or more for-profit or not-for-profit incorporated entities, partnerships, cooperatives, trusts, associations or individuals working together to demonstrate the application of individual technologies and their integration into a comprehensive working model of a hydrogen economy. Within each group, one eligible recipient had to be selected as the lead recipient to be the point of contact with the h2EA program and to be the entity managing the contribution agreement, including receiving and distributing to other eligible recipients of the group the contribution made pursuant to the h2EA program. The lead recipient had to be incorporated and registered pursuant to the laws of Canada.

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