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UK government working on strategy to become world leader in hydrogen


The UK government is working on a new strategy to become a world leader in hydrogen.

During a recent Environmental Audit Committee session, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma confirmed that the forthcoming ‘Energy White Paper’ will include plans for hydrogen.

This will also be followed by a detailed strategy early next year – ahead of the UK hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November.

The strategy is expected to bring together the supply and demand of hydrogen.

Julian Critchlow, director general for Energy Transformation and Clean Growth at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), said: “We believe that we’re actually putting the detailed and specific policy levers in place to be able to deliver a world leading hydrogen market.”

However, for the UK to achieve its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 it will need to achieve hydrogen capacity of about 270 terawatt-hours, up from the current 27-terawatt-hours.

Critchlow highlighted the £23m programme with OLEV, which is looking at funding vehicles and refuelling stations, and the ultra-low emission bus scheme for hydrogen buses, along with Boris Johnson’s commitment for 4,000 new zero emission buses.

The UK has previously faced criticism for lagging behind the likes of Germany, Japan and Australia, in hydrogen development.
Business leaders in the UK have also campaigned for its government to clarify its future hydrogen strategy.

Currently there are six hydrogen refuelling stations across the South East of the UK, with only one of those located in East London.