hydrogen testing
PRODUCTION INDUSTRY POWER 100% Domestic and Commercial Heat TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

PRODUCTION


Increasing local hydrogen production is key to the UK developing a Hydrogen Society. The development of government financial mechanisms (business models) to support both electrolytic (green) and CCUS-enabled (blue) production is an important step that must be delivered before production can scale up.

In order for the UK to deliver on its targets, large scale projects must begin to produce hydrogen by 2025. Production cannot be viewed in isolation but must be developed alongside use technologies, like transport or heating, and supporting infrastructure.

INDUSTRY


Industrial use of low-carbon hydrogen, such ammonia production for fertilisers or high-heats for green steel, will provide the largest demand market over the 2020s. There are several different applications of hydrogen in this space which can be progressed based on the economics and demand side technology requirements. Financial support (CAPEX) will be required to support early-stage industrial transition to hydrogen. This transition would also be accelerated through a strong Government ‘green light’ on the phase out of grey hydrogen.

POWER


Early demand for hydrogen within the power sector will come from blending hydrogen with natural gas and putting this into existing gas power stations (CCGT) at low percentages. This can be done in the early 2020s as soon as hydrogen is available.

Pure hydrogen power is currently in development and this will need to continue over the early 2020s. Alongside technology development, a plan for the use of hydrogen in providing electricity when demand peaks should be developed.

100% Domestic and Commercial Heat


Hydrogen has a key role to play in the decarbonisation of domestic and commercial heat. The priority for the 2020s is to establish the safety, economic and technical case for hydrogen through a series of pilots and trials that will scale throughout the decade.

This will help widespread deployment of hydrogen heating to be rolled out from 2030. There are a number of key enablers to this including mandating “hydrogen ready” boilers from 2025 and ensuring that there is a financial mechanism (business model) that supports hydrogen heating. For hydrogen heating to be rolled out at scale, production and supporting infrastructure must also be in place by 2030.

TRANSPORT


The timeline for the deployment of hydrogen transport varies by vehicle. During the 2020s the UK should prioritise deployment of HGVs, buses, trains and development and demonstration of hydrogen in ships and aircraft. In addition, the UK should consider targeting passenger cars, where consumers are often less sensitive to economics and light commercial vehicles where issues around weight make hydrogen the more attractive option.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The widespread use of hydrogen as a decarbonised energy source depends on the development of supporting infrastructure such as hydrogen storage and hydrogen networks. It can take up to 7 years to develop some of these assets. Therefore, it is crucial that this work starts soon. The UK’s gas grid is a key enabler for some largescale projects and, thus, regulatory barriers to the blending of hydrogen with natural gas in our pipes must be overcome before these projects can move forward.

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Building a Hydrogen Society will require co-ordinated and concerted action from industry, local government, and the UK Government.

Current industry actions

Industry is taking action already to turn the Hydrogen Society into a reality. As of today, there are over a dozen hydrogen production projects under development in the UK, which will provide a total production capacity of over 20GW once complete.

What can Government do?

While industry is investing in hydrogen, there are several actions that Government could take to create a Hydrogen Society more quickly:

  • The Government should set a target of 15GW of low-carbon hydrogen generation capacity by 2030. This would include hydrogen produced through all low-carbon methods and specific targets for each of hydrogen’s many different uses. By adopting a more ambitious target than the current 5GW target it will give Government wider impetus to accelerate deployment of hydrogen, and give investors more confidence in hydrogen’s future role in the UK.
  • The Government should publish more detail (Heads of Terms) on its proposed business model for hydrogen by the end of 2021. This will help industry plan investments on this basis.
  • The Government should develop new policies to incentivise use of hydrogen across its range of applications. This will help ensure there is sufficient demand for hydrogen as production scales up.

If you work for or represent a local authority and are interested in learning more
about how hydrogen can support your energy needs, please email here

Working with local government

Industry and central government action will need to work in tandem with local authorities. Local authorities across the UK are developing their plans to help their area become carbon neutral, and hydrogen is an essential element of many of these.

This page includes several case studies explaining how hydrogen underpins many of these climate plans and can be integrated into plans for your area.

Case Studies

Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub
Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub
DERBY REGIONAL HYDROGEN ROADMAP
WEST YORKSHIRE CARBON EMISSION REDUCTION PATHWAYS