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Green Hydrogen in the UK: Progress and Prospects


Green hydrogen has been known in the UK since Robert Boyle described flammable air in 1671. This paper describes how green hydrogen has become a new priority for the UK in 2021, beginning to replace fossil hydrogen production exceeding 1 Mte in 2021 when the British Government started to inject significant funding into green hydrogen sources, though much less than the USA, Germany, Japan and China. Recent progress in the UK was initiated in 2008 when the first UK green hydrogen station opened in Birmingham University, refuelling 5 hydrogen fuel cell battery electric vehicles (HFCBEVs) for the 50 PhD chemical engineering students that arrived in 2009. Only 10 kg/day were required, in contrast to the first large, green ITM power station delivering almost 600 kg/day of green hydrogen that opened in the UK, in Tyseley, in July 2021. The first question asked in this paper is: ‘What do you mean, Green?’. Then, the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Birmingham is described, with the key innovations defined. Progress in UK green hydrogen and fuel cell introduction is then recounted. The remarks of Elon Musk about this ‘Fool Cell; Mind bogglingly stupid’ technology are analysed to show that he is incorrect. The immediate deployment of green hydrogen stations around the UK has been planned. Another century may be needed to make green hydrogen dominant across the country, yet we will be on the correct path, once a profitable supply chain is established in 2022.

Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: United Kingdom

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