A National Hydrogen Strategy

A Hydrogen Future?

The Government have announced a national strategy for hydrogen, in term of it being a replacement for fossil fuels as a major source of energy. By 2030 the Government wants to produce 5GW of low carbon hydrogen.

Government analysts also suggest that by 2050 between 20% and 35% of domestic power could be provided by hydrogen. Low carbon hydrogen fuel will assist in reducing UK emissions by 75% by 2035.

Other information provided within the UK strategy states that infrastructural assessments will be completed to support the adding of a 20% mixture of hydrogen into domestic fuel supplies. This could result in an immediate 7% cut in emissions.

If the 5GW target is met, this could deliver total emissions savings of around 41MtCO2e between 2023 and 2032, equivalent to the carbon captured by 700 million trees over the same time period. In addition, we hear that by 2030 the UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900 million, create over 9,000 high-quality jobs and attract £4 billion of private investment. This could rise to 100,000 jobs and a £13 billion market value by 2050.

The Hydrogen Strategy suggest that by 2035 hydrogen could be playing a significant role in heating homes and businesses and powering cookers and boilers. The Fife neighbourhood heat trial will commence in 2023 with the aim of hydrogen heating 300 homes. This will be followed by a village heat trail in 2025 and a decision to be made in 2026 whether to commence heating towns on a wider scale with the first pilot town to be heated with hydrogen by 2030.

The Government is adopting a twin track approach of ‘green’ electrolytic hydrogen which the Government expects will be supported mostly through offshore wind; and ‘blue’ carbon capture-enabled hydrogen production which will be developed in industrial clusters, many of which are in coastal locations to take advantage of links to CO2 storage sites and disused oil and gas fields.

The Hydrogen Strategy also sets out a rough roadmap for the production of ‘green’ and ‘blue’ hydrogen, suggesting that the early 2020s will likely see small scale (up to 20MW) green hydrogen projects deployed at pace, with production and end-use closely linked, e.g. at transport depots or industrial sites. By the mid-2020s, they expect to see larger (100MW) green hydrogen projects. By the end of the decade, the Government anticipates multiple 500MW+ production facilities across the UK, with extensive cluster networks and integration into the wider energy system.

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