The much-anticipated Clean Growth Strategy was published today by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. The document lays out the Government’s ambitions to cut emissions while keeping costs down for consumers, creating good jobs and growing the economy.
Whilst the Government acknowledges that there is a level of uncertainty over which technologies will help the UK to meet emission reduction targets, the strategy document outlines three illustrative long-term pathways towards decarbonisation. One of these is the ‘Hydrogen Pathway’ whereby hydrogen is used to heat homes and buildings, fuel many vehicles and power the UK’s industry. This pathway would see the adaptation of the existing gas infrastructure to deliver hydrogen for heating and the rollout of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations.
Over the past few years, prevailing views on the future of the UK energy system have moved away from complete electrification of heat and transport towards a mixed vector approach and the Clean Growth Strategy is certainly in keeping with this trend. However, the level of recognition hydrogen has received in such a key policy document is the strongest sign yet for the hydrogen and fuel cell industry of the opportunity that exists in the UK.
The Government must follow through on this with appropriate policy support and increased funding for the development of the technology. Meanwhile, the hydrogen and fuel cell industry must continue to demonstrate the benefits and value presented by the technology and make the case for the ‘Hydrogen Pathway’. The Hydrogen Hub will continue to support both industry and government in the pursuit of a hydrogen future.