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Hydrogen Taskforce: The Role of Hydrogen in Delivering Net Zero

Abstract

Hydrogen is essential to the UK meeting its net zero emissions target. We must act now to scale hydrogen solutions and achieve cost effective deep decarbonisation. With the support of Government, UK industry is ready to deliver.

The potential to deploy hydrogen at scale as an energy vector has risen rapidly in the political and industrial consciousness in recent years as the benefits and opportunities have become better understood. Early stage projects across the globe have demonstrated the potential of hydrogen to deliver deep decarbonisation, reduce the cost of renewable power and balance energy supply and demand. Governments and major industrial and commercial organisations across the world have set out their ambition to deploy hydrogen technologies at scale. This has created a growing confidence that hydrogen will present both a viable decarbonisation pathway and a global market opportunity. Hydrogen will have an important role to play in meeting the global climate goals set out in
the Paris Climate Agreement and due to be discussed later this year at COP26.

The UK’s commitment to a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target has sharpened the conversation around hydrogen. Most experts agree that net zero by 2050 cannot be achieved through electrification alone and as such, there is a need for a clean molecule to complement the electron. Hydrogen has properties which lend themselves to the decarbonisation of parts of the energy system which are less well suited to electrification such as industrial processes, heating and heavy and highly utilised vehicles. Hydrogen solutions can be scaled, meaning that the contribution of hydrogen to meeting net zero could be substantial.
 
A steady start has been made to exploring the hydrogen opportunity. Partnerships between policymakers and industry exist on several projects which are spread out right across the country, from London to many industrial areas in the north east and north west. Existing projects include the early stage roll out of transport infrastructure and vehicles, feasibility studies focused on large scale hydrogen production technologies, projects exploring the decarbonisation of the gas grid and the development of hydrogen appliances.

The Government recently announced new funding for hydrogen through the Hydrogen Supply Programme and Industrial Fuel Switching Competition. These programmes are excellent examples of collaboration between Government and industry in driving UK leadership in hydrogen and developing solutions that will be critical for meeting net zero.

If the UK is going to meet net zero and capitalise on the economic growth opportunities presented by domestic and global markets for hydrogen solutions and expertise, it is critical that the 2020s deliver a step change in hydrogen activity, building on the unique strengths and expertise developed during early stage technology development.

The Hydrogen Taskforce brings together leading companies pushing hydrogen into the mainstream in the UK to offer a shared view of the opportunity and a collective position on the next steps that must be taken to ensure that the UK capitalises on this opportunity. There are questions to be answered and challenges that must be overcome as hydrogen technologies develop, yet by focusing on what can be done today, the benefits of hydrogen can be immediately realised whilst industry expertise and knowledge is built.

You can download the whole document from the Hydrogen Taskforce website here

Related subjects: Projects & Initiatives
Countries: United Kingdom
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2020-02-01
2021-10-18
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