UK’s BEIS awards contract for development of hydrogen standards

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A new development is expected to help the UK accelerate its transition to hydrogen for energy, transport, and industry decarbonisation.

The UK government, through the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has selected the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM) and Energy & Utility Skills to develop domestic and non-domestic hydrogen gas installation standards, competence frameworks, and training specifications.

Specifications that IGEM and Energy & Utility Skills will develop are expected to help ensure the safe reuse of natural gas infrastructure for hydrogen storage, distribution, and use.

The two will leverage standards being developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) to codify guidance and specifications for ancillary hydrogen gas devices and components, according to the statement.

Using funding from the BEIS Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, specifications developed will be used in trial projects that will include using 100% hydrogen to heat UK households.

The results of the trials will be used to inform strategic decisions in 2026 on the role of hydrogen for heat.

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IGEM will assess hydrogen research and the scientific evidence base to update the IGEM/H/1 Hydrogen Reference Standard and create two new Hydrogen Enabling Standards.

Energy & Utility Skills will finalise and implement the Hydrogen Competency Framework by developing an updated and expanded Training Specification, aligned to these new and updated standards developed by IGEM. The work is due to be completed by September 2023.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands, said: “As we work towards making the UK a world-leading hydrogen economy, it is important we have the right framework in place, and the skilled workforce to make it thrive. 

“This programme, backed by over £2 million ($2.6 million) in funding from the UK Government, will support the development of hydrogen skills and standards in the UK, paving the way for new green job opportunities across the country.”

The development will enable the implementation and achievement of Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, which places hydrogen deployment as a key focus for the UK to deliver the energy transition and a net-zero economy.

Phil Beach CBE, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, added: “BEIS first commissioned Energy & Utility Skills in 2020 to develop and deliver a Hydrogen Competency Framework as part of the Hy4Heat programme. This new contract reflects both the quality of the work we have delivered in partnership with IGEM and the importance of driving forward this skills initiative as part of the Green Industrial Revolution.”