The chairman of a leading hydrogen industry association has resigned so he can speak out against widespread efforts to keep producing the gas from fossil fuels. Christopher Jackson said he would be “betraying future generations by remaining silent” on his views and could “no longer in good conscience” stay neutral and represent the views of all members of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. In a message on Linkedin marking his resignation, he said: “In 30 years time everyone working in the energy sector today will be asked by the generations that follow us, what we did to prevent the coming climate catastrophe. And as many of you will be aware, it remains my deep personal conviction that one of those wrong answers is blue hydrogen.”
Telegraph 18th Aug 2021 read more »
Hydrogen will be “critical” for achieving the UK’s net-zero target and could use up to a third of the nation’s energy by 2050, according to the government. The UK’s new, long-awaited hydrogen strategy provides more detail on how the government will support the development of a domestic low-carbon hydrogen sector, which today is virtually non-existent. Experts have warned that, with hydrogen in short supply in the coming years, the UK must prioritise it in “hard-to-electrify” sectors such as heavy industry as capacity expands. Meanwhile, firm decisions around the extent of hydrogen use in domestic heating and how to ensure it is produced in a low-carbon way have been delayed or put out to consultation for the time being. In this article, Carbon Brief highlights key points from the 121-page strategy and examines some of the main talking points around the UK’s hydrogen plans. At the heart of many discussions about low-carbon hydrogen production is whether the hydrogen is “green” or “blue”. The new strategy largely avoids using this colour-coding system, but it says the government has committed to a “twin track” approach that will include the production of both varieties. For its part, the CCC has recommended a “blue hydrogen bridge” as a useful tool for achieving net-zero. It says allowing some blue hydrogen will reduce emissions faster in the short-term by replacing more fossil fuels with hydrogen when there is not enough green hydrogen available. Prof Robert Gross, director of the UK Energy Research Centre, tells Carbon Brief that, in his view, it is “probably a bit unhelpful to get too preoccupied with the green vs blue hydrogen debate”. He says: “If we want to demonstrate, trial, begin to commercialise and then roll out the use of hydrogen in industry/air travel/freight or wherever, then we need enough hydrogen. We can’t wait until the supply side deliberations are complete.” The new strategy is clear that industry will be a “lead option” for early hydrogen use, starting in the mid-2020s. It also says that it will “likely” be important for decarbonising transport – particularly heavy goods vehicles, shipping and aviation – and balancing a more renewables-heavy grid. “As the strategy admits, there won’t be significant quantities of low-carbon hydrogen for some time. [Therefore] we need to use it where there are few alternatives and not as a like-for-like replacement of gas,” Dr Jan Rosenow, director of European programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project, in a statement. Government analysis, included in the strategy, suggests potential hydrogen demand of up to 38 terawatt-hours (TWh) by 2030, not including blending it into the gas grid, and rising to 55-165TWh by 2035. This is in line with the CCC’s recommendation for its net-zero pathway, which sees low-carbon hydrogen scaling up to 90TWh by 2035 – around a third of the size of the current power sector. The committee emphasises that hydrogen use should be restricted to “areas less suited to electrification, particularly shipping and parts of industry” and providing flexibility to the power system. The CCC does not see extensive use of hydrogen outside of these limited cases by 2035.
Carbon Brief 17th Aug 2021 read more »
Industry urges government to set ‘clear ambition’ for green hydrogen in mixed bag of Hydrogen Strategy responses.
Current 18th Aug 2021 read more »
If hype about hydrogen could fuel the economy, the UK would have abundant energy supplies. The British government on Tuesday breathlessly unveiled its “first-ever vision to kickstart a world-leading hydrogen economy”. That is quite a claim for a document that ducked the question of who bears the costs of subsiding hydrogen production and use. With Conservative backbench MPs increasingly anxious about decarbonisation costs, the government promised details later this year. There is more than a touch of boosterism given boasts of a “booming” hydrogen economy and the positioning of Britain “as first in the global race to ramp up hydrogen technology”. The EU, Australia, France, Germany, South Korea and Norway have also issued hydrogen strategies. Japan, which powered its Olympic flame and village with hydrogen, has ambitions to be a hydrogen superpower.
FT 19th Aug 2021 read more »
The UK government has laid out its first ever Hydrogen Strategy that, it claims, will unlock tens of thousands of jobs, billions of pounds in investment and new export opportunities while creating a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK over the next decade and beyond. The UK’s first-ever Hydrogen Strategy follows the commitments laid out in the prime minister’s 10-Point Plan for a green industrial revolution by setting the foundation for how the UK government will work with industry to meet its ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 – the equivalent of replacing natural gas in powering around 3million UK homes each year as well as powering transport and businesses, particularly heavy industry.
Infrastructure Intelligence 18th Aug 2021 read more »