- Blue hydrogen is essential to the UK government’s Net Zero ambitions
- The UK can deploy 10GW of blue hydrogen by 2030 and reach up to 80GW by 2050 with the right policy support.
The UK oil & gas industry has contributed greatly to the UK’s economy, both in terms of tax revenues and employment – blue hydrogen provides a route to ensure similar levels of support for communities as we transition towards Net Zero.
- Investing in blue hydrogen today will create significant long-term economic opportunities for UK Plc – the UK has the infrastructure, natural resources, geology, skills and experience to be a world leader in blue hydrogen.
- The UK can become a significant blue hydrogen producer, as well as an importer of CO2 from other countries, thus supporting decarbonisation of other markets and generating income for the UK economy.
- Short term thinking must be avoided to prevent the errors that encouraged offshoring of manufacturing opportunities for the wind industry. With ambition, the UK can become an exporter of key skills, services and materials.
- A UK hydrogen strategy must have low carbon hydrogen, irrespective of whether it is blue or green, at its core
Blue hydrogen is essential to the UK’s transition to low carbon energy as part of the 2050 net zero targets.
The potential for low carbon hydrogen is particularly high in industrial processes and in hard to abate sectors, especially heavy-duty vehicles, shipping, heating, aviation and energy storage.
The UK is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities from low carbon blue hydrogen given the existing, historic large-scale production of natural gas, and the Government’s commitment to the technology as part of the energy transition, including the investment in carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) across four industrial clusters.
But if we are to maximise the potential of blue hydrogen in the UK, we need clearer direction and support from Government including:
- Low carbon hydrogen standards need to be set and implemented for the carbon content of hydrogen, maximising the contribution to emissions reduction. In order to help make hydrogen the fuel of the future, it is critical that emissions standards are both standardised and trusted – a crucial step towards achieving the net zero
- To enable low carbon hydrogen production at scale and across all colours, Government will need to provide business models and targeted support mechanisms, complementary to carbon pricing to facilitate the transition away from fossil
- Clarity and greater certainty around the support available for blue hydrogen projects will drive innovation and Confirmation on the way forward for hydrogen blending into the gas grid and the implementation of certification schemes are two examples of where clear direction from Government will be key.
- Ambitious targets for blue hydrogen production equivalent to those for green hydrogen are also critical – with an emphasis on the need to grow all types of low carbon hydrogen to This is crucial to incentivising investment in the UK hydrogen sector and aligning to the various hydrogen needs for different sectors and end users.
- Given the potential for the UK to be a world leading producer of hydrogen, the Government should develop an industry wide plan for international co-operation, including boosting hydrogen exports and There is also huge scope for exporting technologies, products and services.
- Finally, there is a need for support to enable the transition from the traditional roles for oil and gas, with blue hydrogen playing an important role in the ‘just transition’. This offers a route to securing workers’ employment and leveraging skills from a legacy sector into a new energy sector – across hundreds of thousands of jobs1 as we transition to Net Zero
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