In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future. But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype? Back in the early 2000s, backers of hydrogen thought it would dominate the clean automobile market. But the promised “hydrogen highway” never materialised, for a couple of crucial reasons. Firstly, hydrogen power needed a new infrastructure, whereas rival battery cars could be charged off the near-ubiquitous electricity grid. Secondly, high-powered batteries at that time were already well-advanced for other uses such as computers, but hydrogen was not. The website Euractiv reported that the European Commission plans to publish a hydrogen strategy soon. A leaked draft floated the idea of making the Euro the currency for international hydrogen trades, as the US Dollar is for oil. The UK government also intends to announce a hydrogen strategy before the Parliament closes for the summer, as part of its economic recovery package. It’s being spurred on by rebukes that the UK lost the battle for battery technology to China – so it mustn’t let the hydrogen bandwagon escape. The government is advised by its Committee on Climate Change to start large-scale trials in the early 2020s. Indeed, within weeks from now, Britain’s first hydrogen train – developed by Birmingham University – will be tested on regular tracks.
BBC 1st July 2020 read more »