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by Jack Thomson
17 August 2021
UK Government reveals vision to create advanced hydrogen sector

Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK Government's business and energy secretary

UK Government reveals vision to create advanced hydrogen sector

The UK Government has published a strategy which aims to create an advanced hydrogen sector supporting more than 9,000 jobs by 2030.

Projects in Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Fife will play a key role in the development of the nation's future low carbon energy system, it has said.

The hydrogen strategy is one in a series of government documents published ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November.

It sets out how the government intends to work with industry to meet its ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

It anticipates this could replace natural gas in powering some three million homes across the UK each year, as well as powering transport and businesses.  

The government highlighted the roles of the Acorn hydrogen project in St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, and the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney in determining the part hydrogen can play in a future energy system.

The former is using existing oil and gas infrastructure to reform North Sea natural gas into low carbon hydrogen, while the marine energy centre has a £65m portfolio of renewable hydrogen projects.

Meanwhile, the H100 Fife project in Levenmouth will deliver a hydrogen-to-homes gas network in 2023. Providing hydrogen instead of gas to 300 homes for heating and cooking, the trial will explore the potential for hydrogen use in the home.

Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Today marks the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution. This homegrown clean energy source has the potential to transform the way we power our lives and will be essential to tackling climate change and reaching net zero.

“With the potential to provide a third of the UK’s energy in the future, our strategy positions the UK as first in the global race to ramp up hydrogen technology and seize the thousands of jobs and private investment that come with it.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, energy and climate change minister, added: “Today’s hydrogen strategy sends a strong signal globally that we are committed to building a thriving low carbon hydrogen economy that could deliver hundreds of thousands of high-quality green jobs, helps millions of homes transition to green energy, support our key industrial heartlands to move away from fossil fuels and bring in significant investment.”

The government has launched a public consultation on a preferred hydrogen business model, which is designed to overcome the cost gap between low carbon hydrogen and fossil fuels.

Other measures included in the hydrogen strategy are working with industry to develop a UK standard for low carbon hydrogen and undertaking a review to support the development of the network and storage infrastructure to underpin the sector.

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