The UK is at a critical juncture in maximising the industrial potential of green hydrogen, according to a new report from Renewable UK. The report highlights that green hydrogen, produced by using renewable electricity to split water molecules, can play a vital role in decarbonising a range of sectors, including transportation, industry, and heating.
The report reveals that the UK is in a strong position to become a global leader in green hydrogen production, thanks to its abundant renewable energy resources, strong industrial heritage, and skilled workforce.
Can the UK keep up with the green hydrogen progress?
However, the report also warns that there is a risk of falling behind other countries that have already made significant progress in developing their green hydrogen industries, such as Germany and Australia. In the US, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) program has been deployed to offer generous tax credits to green hydrogen producers that are proportional to a project’s life cycle emissions.
Comparatively, the UK is lagging behind. According to RenewableUK’s EnergyPulse, there are reportedly 1.5GW of hydrogen pipeline development in the UK, but only 4MW is currently operational. The report said that “real-world projects are crucial to showcase the UK’s capabilities globally, but a complex and stop-start policymaking approach has hindered their progress.”
The report also identifies several key recommendations for the UK government to accelerate the development of its green hydrogen industry, including increasing investment in research and development, creating a supportive policy framework, and providing financial incentives to stimulate private sector investment.
Commenting on the report, RenewableUK’s CEO, Dan McGrail, said, “The UK has a unique opportunity to become a world leader in green hydrogen, but we need to act quickly and decisively to realize this potential. By investing in research and development, creating the right policy environment, and stimulating private sector investment, we can build a thriving green hydrogen industry that will create thousands of high-skilled jobs, reduce our carbon emissions, and help the UK meet its net-zero targets.”