Government launches UK hydrogen economy strategy

17 August 2021 | Muriel Cozier

‘Hydrogen and CCUS are going to be incredibly valuable for sectors that will be difficult to decarbonise with electricity…’

The UK Government has launched the country’s first Hydrogen Strategy, which it is said will drive forward on commitments made by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in the 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution.

The Government said its analysis indicates that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based. By 2030 hydrogen could have a key role in decarbonising energy intensive industries like chemicals, oil refineries, power, and heavy transport. In addition, a UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900 million and create more than 9000 high-quality jobs by 2030, potentially rising to 100 000 jobs and worth up to £13 billion by 2050.

Among the measures, the Hydrogen Strategy will outline a ‘twin track’ approach to supporting multiple technologies including ‘green’ electrolytic and ‘blue’ carbon-capture enabled hydrogen production. A hydrogen sector development action plan will also be launched in early 2022, setting out how the Government will support companies to secure supply chain opportunities, skills and jobs in hydrogen.

The Government added its approach is based on the UK’s previous success with offshore wind, where the Government said that its early action, coupled with strong private sector backing, has earned the UK a ‘world leading status.’

The Hydrogen Strategy has been welcomed by a wide range of businesses and organisations.

Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive of Energy UK said; ‘Hydrogen and CCUS are going to be incredibly valuable for sectors that will be difficult to decarbonise with electricity – and so we welcome that today’s Hydrogen Strategy takes an economy-wide approach to developing these innovative technologies.’

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE added; ‘We strongly welcome the publication of this first ever Hydrogen Strategy, and hope to turn this encouraging strategy into firm and rapid action through our exciting plans. These include working with Equinor on the world’s first major hydrogen-fired power station… and developing hydrogen storage caverns… as well as our partnership with Siemens to co-locate hydrogen production facilities at our wind farms...’

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