The Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the role of hydrogen in achieving net zero is set to move forward with its call for evidence due to close on 8 January.
In early December, the committee announced the launch of the inquiry, noting how “Driving the Growth of Low Carbon Hydrogen” was a key component of the government’s 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. Highlighting the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change, which called on government to develop a strategy for hydrogen use and aim for largescale hydrogen trials to begin in the early 2020s, the committee said it will look to ensure the government’s plan is “suitable and effective”. It will also assess the infrastructure required for hydrogen as a net zero fuel, while examining progress made so far internationally in a bid to determine the viability of hydrogen as a significant contributor to achieving net zero emissions.
The call for evidence, which is set to close on Friday (8 January), is seeking written submissions on topics including the suitability of the government’s announced plans for driving growth of low carbon hydrogen, such as how the proposed measures could best be coordinated, potential business models to attract private investment, and the dependency of the government’s proposals on carbon capture and storage (CCS), the risks associated with this and how they can be mitigated.
The committee is also interested in submissions relating to the progress of recent and ongoing trials of hydrogen in the UK and abroad, and how this can be built on; the engineering and commercial challenges associated with using hydrogen as a fuel; the infrastructure hydrogen as a net zero fuel will need in the short and longer term; a cost-benefit analysis of using hydrogen to meet net zero; and the relative advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen compared to other low carbon options, along with the applications for which hydrogen should be prioritised and why, and how any uncertainty in the optimal technology should be managed.
Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Greg Clark, said: “Hydrogen may have a big role to play in achieving Net Zero. Its potential provides an important opportunity for UK science and industry to develop and apply the technologies that will support its use—from the production of hydrogen without contributing to CO2 emissions to its use across the economy. Our inquiry will establish what needs to be done for the UK to play a leading global role in the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies, making use of our strengths and depth of experience in science, engineering and innovation.”