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New report outlines key steps to achieving hydrogen targets

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A new report has been published by RenewableUK today containing policy recommendations that would help the UK achieve its target of 10GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2030, as per the Government’s recent Energy Security Strategy, including a minimum of 5GW from green hydrogen production.

The “Green Hydrogen: Optimising Net Zero” report indicates that a green hydrogen economy has the potential to create thousands of highly-skilled jobs in the UK and could enable us to export the gas, especially to Europe, as is the case at ITM Power’s gigafactory in Sheffield, which has already sold electrolysers to the world’s largest hydrogen plant in Germany.

Green hydrogen is produced in electrolysers by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, using electricity generated from renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines and solar arrays. Not only can it be used as a replacement for fossil fuels in the transport sector, but it can also help balance and add vital flexibility to the grid, by storing vast quantities underground to help manage fluctuations in energy demand. 

Recommendations in the report include:

  • Creating a detailed plan showing how 5GW of green hydrogen capacity can be secured by 2030
  • An exemption of charges for allowing electrolysers access to the grid
  • The introduction of standards highlighting green hydrogen as a zero-carbon fuel
  • Support for relevant projects, of any scale, under the Hydrogen Business Model
  • Streamlining the planning system (something requested by all areas of the clean energy sector), to enable projects to be built more quickly and electrolysers to be installed alongside wind farms

The report also highlights the need for large scale storage facilities and good interconnections with the European hydrogen network, to enable the export of the gas.

The report’s author, RenewableUK’s Emerging Technologies Policy Analyst Laurie Heyworth, said:

“If ever there was a time to step up our efforts to replace expensive gas with a clean, flexible fuel which fulfills the same role but uses cheap renewables instead, it’s right now. This report explains how we can start to switch from an over-priced fossil fuel from abroad to a new home-grown zero carbon source of power by building at least 5GW of green hydrogen capacity by 2030.”

“Expanding our capacity to produce green hydrogen will enable us to make full use of the enormous amounts of clean power we’re producing from renewables. This could help consumers as well as boosting the UK’s energy security, because making hydrogen using renewables is set to become cheaper than using fossil fuels which are prone to volatility and global price shocks. This will allow us to take huge strides forward on decarbonisation and move closer towards energy independence over the course of this decade”.

The report is available to view in full here.

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