The IPCC have warned that time is up for the climate crisis, and that we’re at a tipping point for a massive increase in natural disasters across the globe, unless immediate urgent action is taken to decarbonise our economies.
Just a few days after the release of these stark warnings the UK government have published their highly anticipated Hydrogen Strategy.
Released on August 17th the Strategy has long been seen as a golden key to unlock billions of pounds of private investment in projects across the nascent hydrogen economy, creating and sustaining thousands of new green jobs, whilst tackling the emissions crisis head on with a low carbon energy solution.
However, now that the dust has settled, how is the UK Hydrogen Industry feeling about the document? Was this the Hydrogen Grail everyone’s been waiting for?
The Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s introduction to the strategy sounded bold, emphasising that: “The time for real world action is now” and “our ambition for hydrogen goes beyond decarbonisation. It also means a focus on supporting industry to develop sustainable, home-grown supply chains, create high quality jobs, and capitalise on British innovation and expertise. It means incentivising private investment and looking to increase export opportunities. It means strengthening our industrial heartlands, boosting our economy and driving national growth”.
However, the encouraging opening sentiments have been somewhat undermined by a production target of only 5GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2030.
The UK’s hydrogen industry says this figure is simply not enough.
In facet GlobalData has already said there are early stage projects in Britain that will achieve this number. The company has tracked the equivalent of 4.6GW of proposed projects, with further possible projects increasing that capacity.
Energy Transition Analyst at GlobalData Barbara Monterrubio, said the target is “far behind” other European countries like the Netherlands and Germany, which already have 15GW and 14GW of respective projects in the pipeline.
“Additionally, the UK target is dwarfed by the EU’s 2030 target of 40GW of low-carbon hydrogen capacity,” Monterrubio said.
Chief Executive at the Energy Networks Association (ENA), David Smith, has added, “We need further recognition that for hydrogen to play its part in Net Zero, producing 5GW of hydrogen by 2030 will not be enough.
“We must set our sights higher, towards a figure twice that amount.”
Jo Bamford, founder and executive chairman of Ryze Hydrogen and Wrightbus welcomed the strategy, but also said, “The Government must also accelerate progress on its commitment to purchase 4,000 zero emission buses.
“UK-made Wrightbus hydrogen buses are already on the streets of Aberdeen, London, Birmingham, Belfast and Dublin and improving air quality. These are ideal first users of hydrogen, and can be easily scaled up to stimulate further investment in green hydrogen production.”
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