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Hydrogen convention in Edmonton underscores Alberta's potentially bright energy future

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The third annual Canadian Hydrogen Convention, which is underway in Edmonton and runs through Thursday, is expected to draw more than 8,000 people, including international dignitaries, leading experts and companies.

And they're hearing from Alberta's premier about how the province — and the city — are key to the future of hydrogen, which is why the government is rolling out $57 million to develop 28 new hydrogen technologies.

"We are Canada’s largest hydrogen producer and user with the ability to make some of the lowest costs clean and hydrogen in the world," Premier Danielle Smith told the audience on Tuesday at the Edmonton Convention Centre.

"Our province has the resources and the know-how to become a global powerhouse."

$7 million of that investment by the provincial government will go to Linde Canada to install hydrogen production, distribution and refueling infrastructure in the Edmonton area.

"Its a no-brainer," Linde Canada Director Greg Panuccio told CTV News Edmonton.

"This is the place where investments should be made (and) are being made, so its an exciting time to be working in this space."

Another $6.9 million will go to the City of Edmonton to test hydrogen vehicle refuelling and performance, with nearly $2 million for the Edmonton International Airport to explore the future of the gas in aviation.

Amit Kumar, the Canada research Cahir in Assessment of Energy Systems at the University of Alberta, says events such as this week's convention help establish Alberta as a hydrogen hub, tapping into what could be a $12-trillion market allowing Alberta to export hydrogen instead of oil and natural gas.

"When the world moves away from fossil fuel, hydrogen could be the way," Kumar said Tuesday.

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