It’s an idea whose time has come.The BC government and Calgary-based Enbridge are teaming up to find ways of leveraging existing natural gas infrastructure to promote the use of hydrogen as a fuel source in the province.The hydrogen blending study will look at the percentage of hydrogen that can be safely transported through gas pipeline infrastructure, such as Enbridge's Westcoast natural gas transmission system, as well as FortisBC's own gas transmission systems, “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help develop a low-carbon energy economy.” If they find that hydrogen can be safely transported in existing gas lines — and there’s a strong possibility that it could — the study will be used to inform the development of codes and standards to regulate its transportation and help to inform the development of a commercial hydrogen market in the province, the parties said in a release..Hydrogen can be manufactured from a variety of sources, but the cheapest and most cost effective is so-called ‘blue’ hydrogen from natural gas using carbon capture to offset emissions. ‘Green‘ hydrogen can be made from electrolysis using windmills..It would also be a boon for Alberta’s natural gas producers which are tied into the Westcoast gas system that runs down through the Lower Mainland and into Washington State via the NOVA gathering system."Hydrogen is a renewable energy source that is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping the province transition to clean energy. By using existing infrastructure to transport this energy, we can reduce the number of trucks on BC highways and roads," said Josie Osborne, the province’s minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation. Said Roger Dall'Antonia, president and CEO at FortisBC: "Our long-term vision is to have hydrogen be part of our renewable and low-carbon gas supply and collaboration with industry and government in research such as this is a pivotal step toward finding the safest way of making that vision a reality.".It follows similar efforts in Alberta to develop a domestic hydrogen market, which is seen as a better alternative for heavy transportation such as rail and long haul trucking. Hydrogen can be used in electric fuel cells or directly combusted in modified internal combustion engines.Hydrogen can be manufactured from a variety of sources, but the cheapest and most cost effective is so-called ‘blue’ hydrogen from natural gas using carbon capture to offset emissions. ‘Green‘ hydrogen can be made from electrolysis using windmills.The blue version plays well into using the extensive existing network of pipelines and processing plants in both Alberta and BC, although they would likely have to be modified to be mixed with the existing gas stream.It can also be converted to anhydrous ammonia and shipped by rail, which has been taking place for almost a century In the agriculture industry."One way we're doing this is by using our existing energy infrastructure to transport low-carbon forms of energy such as hydrogen. This important study will play a critical role in determining how existing energy infrastructure can be used to transport hydrogen and how we can continue to work to advance the energy transition," said Enbridge vice-president Cynthia Hansen.