Canada's leadership in hydrogen technology honored at World Energy Congress

November 14, 2007

This release is also available in French.

OTTAWA -- Canada's leadership in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies received double honours today at the 20th annual World Energy Congress in Rome. The International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) has chosen British Columbia's Hydrogen Highway™ program as the winner of the Technical Achievement Award, and the organization has elected Canada as its new chair.

The IPHE's Technical Achievement award was accepted by the Honourable Richard Neufeld, British Columbia's Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Cassie Doyle, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources.

"The Government of Canada is proud to be recognized on the world stage for our work on the BC Hydrogen Highway," said Minister Lunn. "Canada is doing what it takes to be a world leader in the fight against climate change and in the development of clean energy. The development of Hydrogen fuel cell technologies is part of our balanced plan aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants and encouraging our economic growth."

"This award recognizes the collaborative work of our government and industry to advance British Columbia's vision of hydrogen and fuel cell leadership and build on our world reputation in fuel cell technologies," said Minister Neufeld. "The Hydrogen Highway addresses climate change and creates opportunities in the research, development and deployment of innovative energy solutions."

The IPHE also recently elected Canada as its new chair. Graham Campbell, Director General of NRCan's Office of Energy Research and Development, and Sara Filbee, Director General of the Resource Processing Industries Branch, Industry Canada, will serve a two-year tenure co-chairing the IPHE.

"Recognized throughout the world for its expertise in developing hydrogen and fuel cell technology, Canada is well positioned to chair IPHE and contribute to the development of these clean, secure and reliable energy technologies," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry. "Through Canada's Science and Technology Strategy, the government will continue to support Canadian researchers and innovators in developing new ideas and bringing them to the marketplace."

The Government of Canada has supported the Hydrogen Highway from its inception through the $33-million Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance (CTFCA), managed by NRCan and other departments and agencies, including Industry Canada's Hydrogen Early Adopters Program and the National Research Council of Canada's Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation.

B.C. is investing $89 million in North America's first fleet of 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses and refuelling infrastructure from Victoria to Whistler by 2010 through a federal-provincial partnership. The Hydrogen Highway will eventually evolve into a north-south hydrogen highway to California, U.S.A.

British Columbia's Hydrogen Highway is a coordinated demonstration, deployment and market development program that enables participants to evaluate, improve and refine the performance of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The Hydrogen Highway is a showcase for hydrogen and fuel cell research applications and market deployment. It functions as a microcosm of the hydrogen economy, both on the road and in stationary applications.

Canada received a prestigious international award today in Rome for its innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. B.C.'s Hydrogen Highway, supported by Natural Resources Canada and other government departments, was chosen as the winner of this year's Technical Achievement Award by the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy, which has also elected Canada to serve as its new chair.

Media may contact:

Louise Girouard
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada

Alison Setton
Hydrogen Highway & Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle programs

Jake Jacobs
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
250 952-0628 office
250 213-6934 cell

The general public may contact:

Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)

The following media backgrounder is available at

Canada's Leadership in Hydrogen Technology Honoured at World Energy Congress

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at

Natural Resources Canada

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