HYDROGEN UK is calling on the Government to ramp up support for the hydrogen industry in order to meet the UK’s net zero targets.
Hydrogen UK is a newly-formed trade association which emerged from the Hydrogen Taskforce. The Taskforce was launched in March 2020 to support the development of the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy. Hydrogen UK aims to work with Government, business, and consumers to ensure that hydrogen can meet its full potential in the low-carbon economy. It has released a report – Hydrogen in the UK: Moving from Strategy to Delivery – which says that if the Government’s target of 5 GW by 2030 were increased, and hydrogen production scaled up faster in the 2020s, then the cost of meeting the sixth carbon budget will be significantly reduced.
It recommends that the Contracts for Difference (CfD) model – which has been successful in reducing costs of renewable technology – should be used for hydrogen production. This would enable hydrogen production to scale up while driving down costs over the next decade. The report calls for a business model to be made available by mid-2022, as otherwise investors would be less likely to commit funds.
The development of distribution and storage infrastructure is essential to manage demand variation, says Hydrogen UK, noting that storage assets have long lead times and therefore developing support mechanisms should be a key priority.
The skills gap needs to be addressed urgently, as while there is a broad base of engineering skills in the workforce, these are not sufficient to meet the needs of a low-carbon economy. The report calls for a cohesive, coordinated, and forward-looking drive to expand and develop the UK workforce’s hydrogen skills. It also says that there should be degrees and courses relevant to the hydrogen sector.
Hydrogen UK is also launching a campaign – Building a Hydrogen Society – which aims to promote a better understanding of low-carbon hydrogen.
Angela Needle, Vice President of Hydrogen UK, said: “Hydrogen has the potential to deliver significant economic, environmental and energy system benefits to our country. However, this will only be realised if industry and Government work together.”
Clare Jackson, CEO of Hydrogen UK, said: “We must build on the strong foundations that have been laid and work together to rapidly scale hydrogen solutions over the next decade. The UK Government and hydrogen industry must respond to ensure that we capitalise on the economic opportunity and the progress in the sector moves to delivery with all parts of the UK value chain included.”
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