The Scottish Affairs Committee has revealed the UK Government’s response to its Hydrogen and Carbon Capture report. In this response, the government avoids committing to the committee’s suggestion of setting intermediate goals for hydrogen production in order to meet its 2050 net zero target.
“We conclude that both the UK and Scottish Governments’ hydrogen strategies require interim targets to ensure that hydrogen production and net zero commitments are met,” the report states. It also recommends that the Scottish Government, due to its 2045 deadline, should swiftly establish these intermediate targets.
The report also presses for a series of hydrogen production steps and actions to stimulate low carbon hydrogen demand, underlining the urgency of these decisions to achieve net zero targets, secure energy and job security, promote cleaner energy production, and foster international competitiveness.
While the government acknowledges the potential economic benefits of hydrogen trade and the importance of hydrogen storage for energy security, it does not provide a timeline for establishing an export market or a strategy to attract international investors to hydrogen exports.
In response to the cross-party Committee’s warning that failure to scale up carbon capture could prevent the UK from meeting its net zero targets and transitioning from fossil fuels, the UK Government has announced a £20 billion funding package in the Spring Budget on March 15, and launched the Track-2 of Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) sequencing on March 30.
Pete Wishart MP, Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, commented, “Net zero is a pipe dream without effective carbon capture technology.” He stressed the need for more effective, coordinated action between the UK and Scottish Governments and industry collaboration. He also highlighted the increased need for robust hydrogen storage in Scotland in light of energy security concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Committee’s report includes several key conclusions and recommendations such as establishing interim targets for hydrogen production, accelerating the deployment of carbon capture technologies across Scotland, exploring hydrogen export opportunities, prioritizing hydrogen storage, and ensuring necessary skills for a robust hydrogen economy. They also recommend that hydrogen-ready boilers should be mandated by the end of the next Parliamentary session.
- Read the Government Response (PDF)
- Read the Government Response (HTML)
- Read the full Report (PDF)
- Read the full Report (HTML)
- Inquiry: Hydrogen and carbon capture in Scotland
- Scottish Affairs Committee
The Committee’s report included the following key conclusions and recommendations:
- UK and Scottish Governments work together to meet the targets set on hydrogen production and include interim targets
- The UK Government should make timely decisions about Track-2 cluster sequencing.
- The UK Government should accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies across Scotland.
- The export of hydrogen should be being explored at pace to ensure that the UK does not get left behind international developments
- The storage of hydrogen is prioritised and it is deemed a national asset as it can assist in the energy security of the whole of the UK
- The UK and Scottish Governments work together on ensuring the skills are in place for establishing a strong hydrogen economy
- Hydrogen ready boilers should be mandated by the end of the next Parliamentary session.
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