UK: The Sustainable Markets Initiative Forms the Hydrogen Taskforce

By May 12, 2021 5   min read  (752 words)

May 12, 2021 |

fuel cells works, hydrogen, taskforce,

Letter of Intent

At His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ invitation, business leaders have formed a Taskforce, as part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), to support accelerating the deployment of hydrogen as one of the decarbonisation tools critical to achieving global net-zero emissions.

The Taskforce is chaired by Shell’s Chief Executive Ben van Beurden and includes representatives from Anglo American, Bank of America, bp, Cummins, Fortescue Metals Group, Hydrogen Council, ITM Power, Linde, Macquarie, Shell, Siemens Energy, Toyota Motor Europe, and 8 Rivers Capital.

These companies recognise the important role that hydrogen will play in reaching global decarbonisation goals and are committed to taking action that accelerates the deployment of clean hydrogen across a broad range of uses. These include: the decarbonisation of transport, industrial processes, feedstock, building heating, and enabling the large-scale integration of higher levels of renewables and other forms of clean energy; the efficient storage and distribution of energy across regions; and the improvement of energy systems resilience.

The Taskforce will focus on the following actions ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021:

  • The Taskforce intends to create a template for a hydrogen ecosystem that combines near-term industrial-scale projects and longer-term utility-scale projects. This ecosystem template could then be used as the basis for the needs of an entire nation / territory / island community as a hydrogen energy-based economy. The ecosystem would serve as a learning opportunity to inform policy and scale for subsequent projects to improve delivery, cost, and time to market. To help drive action and thoughtful creation of an ecosystem template, the Taskforce is evaluating ecosystem locations for critical components such as future hydrogen demand, financing models, technical support, and business models, as well as mapping out the components and capabilities needed by constituent projects. The objective would be to make significant demonstrable progress with the legal, technical, operational, and financial structuring of the project ecosystem. The leadership of His Royal Highness could convene potential participants to help accelerate the ecosystem components.
  • The Taskforce will also work to develop formal pledges – where appropriate – under which participating companies could commit to the use of clean hydrogen and derivatives (e.g. clean steel produced with use of hydrogen) in their value chains.  The initiative is intended to be global in nature and to encourage commitments from companies to disclose their current use of hydrogen and to chart a course in how they would implement the use of clean hydrogen in their value chain over time. These commitments should be public and contain clear goals and metrics to be achieved by specific dates to chart progress.
  • The Taskforce will detail the policy and regulatory levers needed to accelerate adoption of hydrogen fuel cells for transport. This would create the framework within which industry leaders could commit to a market-based plan to utilize the supply of clean hydrogen while also providing guidance for an accelerated path with the right complementary policy measures.

Hydrogen has a crucial role to play in achieving the energy transition to net-zero emissions. Hydrogen enables renewable energy integration, delivers massive storage capacity and the decarbonisation of transport, industrial processes and agriculture. I am enormously encouraged to see the work being done by the Hydrogen Taskforce under the SMI umbrella to fuel innovation, drive a system’s perspective and establish economies of scale to help push clean hydrogen – in conjunction with electrification – on an accelerated growth pathway.

HRH Hugo Burnand portrait

Momentum is growing behind the vision of a net-zero emissions world and the action needed to achieve it, drawing in a growing number of businesses, energy consumers and governments. There is a clear opportunity for hydrogen to play a role. The versatility of hydrogen as an energy carrier will be critical to reach those parts of the system that will be hard to electrify.

Ben van Beurden, Shell CEO

Further information

For roundtable and taskforce enquiries please contact, Joe Murphy, Chief Industry Officer, Sustainable Markets Initiative:

Email: [email protected]

For media enquiries please contact Laura Round, Communications Director, Sustainable Markets Initiative:

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +44 7 543 759 844



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