Hydrogen: An Abundant Resource to Drive Decarbonisation

Hydrogen is a key enabler in the UK’s journey to net zero emissions, delivering cost-effective deep decarbonisation across heat, industry, power and transport domains.

Production of Hydrogen:

  • Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet and can be produced from any primary energy source including hydrocarbons and renewables. There are two mechanisms for creating clean hydrogen
  • Green Hydrogen can be created through electrolysis by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen through an electrolyser.
  • Blue Hydrogen can be produced through steam methane reforming or autothermal reforming coupled with Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS).

Overview of the UK’s Hydrogen Industry Characteristics of the Emerging Hydrogen Market

  • Pilots and demonstrations are ongoing, they provide consumer confidence and build early supply chain capacity.
  • Public understanding is improving. There is work to be done to educate the public on hydrogen and its benefits.
  • Coordinated research between academia and industry will broaden the knowledge portfolio and enable the scaling up of innovation.
  • Case studies demonstrate existing examples of successful work abroad, that the UK can draw upon.
  • Policy and market design must be continually developed with collaboration between government and industry.
  • Jobs and employment across the hydrogen sector will support high skilled job creation and the UK’s role in the international market.

Challenges

  • Infrastructure and investment: gaining capital investment to make significant, and necessary infrastructure upgrades will ensure hydrogen can penetrate the energy system at scale.
  • Attracting demand: creation of a strong supply chain from supply to end-use will ensure that the demand for low and zero carbon alternatives can be met from hydrogen consumption.

How to Achieve the Hydrogen Economy

  • Building consumer confidence through effective communication around the need to decarbonise the UK, as well as educating on the integral role that hydrogen can play in achieving this.
  • Focusing on achievable aims by delivering wins in the short term that will deliver the foundations for the UK’s future hydrogen system.
  • Incremental investment in the long term will ensure the focus is on the wide-reaching benefits and applications of hydrogen.
  • Closing the policy gap between the mechanisms that are currently in play for hydrogen and those that are needed to push innovation and investment forward is imperative.