Hydrogen UK Launches “Quick-Win” Manifesto for New Government

With the general election dawning, the UK’s leading hydrogen trade association: Hydrogen UK has launched its manifesto. On behalf of the UK hydrogen industry, the manifesto recommends key policies for the incoming government to help the industry realise its full potential, the end goal being the transformation of the UK into a global hydrogen hub supporting clean British energy.  

William Mezzullo, VP of Hydrogen UK, said: “Hydrogen is pivotal for the clean energy transition and energy security because it offers a versatile, low-emission solution that can decarbonise multiple sectors that electricity can’t, while providing a reliable and sustainable energy source for the future.

“The new government must prioritise hydrogen development to ensure we harness its full potential and lead the way in global clean energy innovation.”

This manifesto offers directives that range from an outline of the first 100 days in office to longer-term solutions.

These include a ministerial role with direct responsibility for hydrogen within the Government to champion the sector’s growth and ensure cohesive policymaking across departments.

To catalyse the expansion of the industry, the acceleration of investment decisions for pioneering hydrogen projects is required, setting a precedent for subsequent initiatives.

Commenting on the need for a final investment decision (FID) Clare Jackson commented, “Seeing is believing with any innovative technology.

“To showcase hydrogen’s true value, we must ensure pioneering projects reach final investment decisions as soon as possible. The incoming government must prioritise this within its first 100 days, or risk jeopardising all progress made thus far.”

Funding is a key consideration

Expediting the first Hydrogen Allocation Rounds of the Hydrogen Storage Business Model and Hydrogen Transport Business Model is also of great importance. It is required to provide clarity on the regions and projects that will be selected.

A reiteration of the commitment to future Hydrogen Allocation Rounds and releasing the consultation on the design of the hydrogen funding mechanism is called for, providing funding certainty for hydrogen support schemes which is essential for instilling investor confidence across the sector.

A single standard (i.e. the Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard) for use across departments responsible for supply and demand, should be adopted to ensure a single consistent definition of low carbon hydrogen across all government support mechanisms.

The manifesto calls for the immediate and direct funding of projects within Track-1 of the ‘Cluster Sequencing Process’, and the announcement of successful Track-1x projects. Clear timelines and funding envelopes for and Track-2 Projects must also be set.

The UK hydrogen industry is poised to deliver significant economic impact, which by analysis via Hydrogen UK, could result in 64,000 UK jobs and a hydrogen economy that could generate over £7 billion in gross value added (GVA) annually by the end of the decade.

As it stands, the UK is well placed to capitalise on the hydrogen opportunity and emerge as a global leader. Strides have been made in establishing a framework for hydrogen development, however, the next five years will be critical for the sector as it continues to gain momentum with development and delivery.

This delivery however requires a committed, decisive government, and one which collaborates closely with industry.

With the target of low carbon hydrogen production now doubled to 10GW, More than 100 members making up the trade association have collated a series of key asks for the incoming government to help reach this and reaffirm investor confidence.

“With a comprehensive strategy in place, the hydrogen sector has outlined what is required from the government to scale up effectively. To do this, it is imperative to get the first production projects over the line and into construction as a matter of urgency.

“A new Government presents an opportunity for policymakers to solidify commitments and accelerate the deployment of hydrogen technology, ensuring the UK remains competitive in the global race.

“We’re at a critical juncture and must be reaffirming investor confidence in order to drive the inward investment.

“Further delay and stagnation risks net-zero goals, establishing energy security, and ultimately missing out on the economic growth that the industry can bring to the UK.”  Clare Jackson concludes.

Byline: Sonny Riddell