The UK Government is being urged to set cost reduction targets for renewable hydrogen in order to provide cheap energy for consumers.
A report published today by industry body RenewableUK calls for Westminster to help customers by supporting the rapid development of green hydrogen, which is generated using renewable electricity.
Entitled “Renewable Hydrogen – Seizing the UK Opportunity”, the study claims the clean energy sector is in a position to match the strides made in offshore wind by driving down the cost of the superfuel over the coming decade.
It also says it can play a “key role” in the UK’s long-term green economic recovery from Covid-19 and can offer a new lease of life to coastal communities and industrial cities.
In order to ensure the opportunities presented by the new technology aren’t missed, RenewableUK is calling on the UK Government to publish a hydrogen strategy, setting out how it will be incorporated into the country’s energy strategy.
The industry body is recommending setting a target of 5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable electrolyser capacity by 2030 and 10GW by 2035, along with a cost reduction target of £2 per kilogram of green hydrogen by the end of the decade, down from £8/kg today.
The superfuel is expected to be worth $2.5 trillion globally by 2050 and there are several major trials already ongoing across the UK.
RenewableUK’s Project Intelligence database shows a pipeline of 27 projects, including Aberdeen’s hydrogen bus pilot, which are operational, under construction, consented or in planning.
Barnaby Wharton, director of future electricity systems at the trade body, said: “Renewable hydrogen is the next big global industry in the decades ahead. The UK is well placed to lead this new industry, with plentiful renewable resources and world leading hydrogen companies. We can drive down costs fast, replicating our spectacular success in offshore wind cost reduction, offering consumers cheaper energy.
“We can’t let this opportunity slip through our fingers if the UK wants to stay at the cutting edge of innovation in renewable energy, with all the economic benefits that will bring. We’re urging Government to come on board with us by setting out a strategy to secure a multi-billion-pound prize which will create tens of thousands of jobs around the country, especially in areas which need levelling up, as a key part of the UK’s green economic recovery”.