UK energy bodies support government’s hydrogen strategy

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The UK’s energy trade bodies have broadly welcomed the unveiling of the government’s Hydrogen Strategy.

The strategy comprises several funding initiatives plus contracts for difference-style model to accelerate projects for both blue and green hydrogen. (Read more here).

Director of policy at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), Frank Gordon, said the strategy “provides welcome clarity. The REA urged the government to provide certainty for investors, deliver a technology neutral approach and highlight the range of low carbon pathways.

“The Hydrogen Strategy starts to answer those calls and offers a positive vision for the role of hydrogen in meeting the UK’s net-zero ambitions.”

“We believe this strategy can provide a stimulus for British-based hydrogen production over the coming years.”

Emma Pinchbeck: praised the strategy’s
‘economy-wide approach’

Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck said hydrogen and carbon capture, storage and utilization “are going to be incredibly valuable for sectors that will be difficult to decarbonize with electricity, so we welcome that the Hydrogen Strategy takes an economy-wide approach to developing these innovative technologies”.

“The UK has real potential for hydrogen and CCUS, both of which can deliver new skilled jobs, particularly in places where the UK already has a proud industrial and energy heritage.”

Mike Foster, chief executive of the Energy and Utilities Alliance, said the strategy “represents a huge step in the right direction for the introduction of the technology, something the heating industry is rallying behind in the decarbonisation process”.

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“We are enthused to see the government also recognise the role a hydrogen blend into the grid will play in reducing carbon emissions without homeowners needing to change appliances or boilers.

“It is of great importance that the transition to hydrogen does not cause disruption or large costs to consumers. The blend is a way to significantly reduce emissions with no change, which will in turn leave time for the groundwork to be laid for a seamless switch to 100 per cent hydrogen later on.”

Mike Foster: said the transition to hydrogen must not cause disruption to consumers.

Foster also welcomed recognition of hydrogen’s potential for decarbonising heat in homes and commercial buildings. “Giving consumers choice when it comes to low carbon heating is vital to ensuring all buildings can be suitably decarbonised to hit targets set out by government.”

He added that the creation of jobs is a welcome aspect of the strategy and stressed that it will “also play a part in the preservation of jobs for 120,000 and more gas engineers working across the UK”.

“Likely requiring only one extra module to be taken on the compulsory Gas Safe engineering qualification, the installation and servicing of hydrogen-ready boilers is set to be very similar to their traditional counterparts.

“Given heating installers will play an integral role in preparing for the transition should the decision be made in 2026, it is vital that their jobs are protected as part of renewable development.

More industry reaction: UK has ‘fired the starting gun on scaling hydrogen