SH Newsletter January 2021 WEB - Flipbook - Page 12
Who will be involved in the Hydrogen Economy?
Hydrogen, the lightest, simplest and most abundant element, is quickly emerging as a leading option to
contribute to the decarbonisation of human activities with various national and regional strategies and green
growth initiatives seeking to establish successful hydrogen economies.
The Green recovery plan recently announced by the UK Government contains a strong emphasis for hydrogen
• Advancing offshore wind – plan to quadruple offshore wind capacity by 2030
• Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen - UK target of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030
» £240 million net zero hydrogen fund
• Net Zero Innovation
» Floating offshore wind
» £0.5 billion investment in hydrogen technologies
Both Government and Industry see hydrogen as having a clear role, alongside electrification, in creating a
greener and cleaner future, and that hydrogen has an integral role to play in the UK’s transition to net-zero.
Several regional projects, that are progressing from pilot to full scale implementation, are based on
the production of Blue Hydrogen often integrating with and enhancing existing industrial activity and
businesses. Whilst produced from fossil fuels such as methane, the integration with Carbon Capture
Utilisation & Storage technologies reduces carbon emissions. The ability to integrate with existing business
enhances the economic viability of Blue Hydrogen
There is also increasing interest in Green Hydrogen, something likely to increase as economies of scale
and the inevitability of technical advances materialise. In this case electrolysis is used to split water and
where the electricity is produced using renewable sources (such as wind or solar) the process results in no
carbon emissions. It may well be that over time the deliverability or economics of some larger but remote
renewable projects is improved by considering transportation of the captured energy by hydrogen from
electrolysis rather than conventional cables.
Once captured, hydrogen provides a potential fuel source capable of being used in numerous situations:
• As a transportable energy for situations where technical, cost or other factors may restrict conventional pipeline or
cable connection opportunities, i.e. in remote areas or rural communities
• As a fuel replacement for methane to be combusted to supply heat and electricity, especially in industry
• As an increasing proportion of the gas mix supplied to industry and homes through the gas transmission and
• As an alternative fuel for high energy density transport (buses, trains, ferries, HGVs and long haul vehicles) where
electrification may not be the optimal pathway to decarbonisation.