Government urged to support renewable hydrogen

The Government needs to support the development of green hydrogen, generated using renewable electricity, as a cheap energy source for the future.

Renewable Hydrogen - Seizing the UK Opportunity, a report published today by RenewableUK, predicts that the success of the offshore wind industry can be repeated, driving down the cost of green hydrogen over the course of the decade.

To ensure we build the UK’s R&D and manufacturing strength in green hydrogen, RenewableUK is calling for the Government to publish a hydrogen strategy, including a roadmap to 2050, setting out how renewable hydrogen will grow from a niche technology to the central pillar of the UK’s energy system. This should include a plan to deliver the first gigawatt of electrolyser capacity in the UK, identifying potential projects and funding to drive innovation and investment.

RenewableUK also recommends setting a target of 5GW of renewable electrolyser capacity by 2030 and 10GW by 2035, along with a cost reduction target of £2 per kg of green hydrogen by 2030, down from £8/kg today. This would mean that by 2030, green hydrogen would be cost-competitive, or could even cost less to produce than blue hydrogen which is made from fossil fuel (methane) with carbon capture and storage (CCS). Clean hydrogen would also help reach net-zero faster, as current CCS technology fails to capture up to a fifth of all carbon emissions.

The report highlights the fact that the UK already has a head start in the global race to commercialise green hydrogen, with major trials underway such as the Gigastack project in the Humber. This is set to use renewable energy from offshore wind farms to make clean hydrogen by electrolysis.

The global market for renewable hydrogen is estimated to be worth $2.5tr by 2050, and a joint report by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Offshore Wind Industry Council published this month shows that up to 120,000 jobs could be created across offshore wind generation, the manufacturing of electrolysers and logistics.

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