Nuclear power could generate 33% of UK hydrogen by 2050; Renewable capacity could push nuclear out of the mix. Nuclear capacity in Britain may well drop over the coming decade due to ambitious renewable targets. However, a roadmap from the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) indicates the power source could be crucial to UK hydrogen up to 2050. The NIA roadmap, launched on 17 February 2021, states that nuclear power could help generate 75TWh of low-carbon hydrogen by 2050, 33% of the Climate Change Committee’s target of 225TWh to support decarbonisation efforts. However, this figure is based on 12-13GW of installed nuclear capacity – a figure ICIS analysts forecast may not be available under two-out-of-three future scenarios for UK power up to 2050. One of the key benefits to nuclear generation is its ability to consistently power electrolysers over long periods of time, meaning lower risk of price fluctuation. Comparatively, changes in renewable output can lead to spikes in power prices and supply tightness, subsequently reducing output of green hydrogen production and increasing its price. According to the NIA roadmap, nuclear hydrogen could be as cheap as $2.5/kgh2, putting it close to the cost of blue hydrogen.
ICIS 19th Feb 2021 read more »