The UK Government has announced Johnson Matthey (LON: JMAT) exec Jane Toogood as the country’s first ever “Hydrogen Champion”.
Business secretary will formerly unveil the role the announcement at the Hydrogen Investment Summit today.
Ms Toogood is the sector CEO for catalyst technologies at Johnson Matthey.
Her new role as hydrogen champion will help bring “industry and government together to realise the government’s hydrogen ambitions,” including supporting for up to 10GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
The government aims to run annual allocation rounds for electrolytic hydrogen, and design, by 2025, new business models for hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure.
Ms Toogood’s appointment comes hot on the heels of reports this week that Johnson Matthey is planning a £60m hydrogen fuel cell factory in the UK.
This will put the UK on track to becoming a world-leading hydrogen economy, attracting billions of pounds in inward investment and supporting 12,000 jobs across the country.
Ms Toogood said: “The Government has ambitious plans for the UK to ramp up hydrogen technology.
“Hydrogen deployment as a clean energy source is one of the key solutions to help the UK reach its net zero targets and I strongly believe there is an opportunity to accelerate this, working collaboratively across industry and government to land projects and infrastructure on a timeline that serves stakeholder and customers’ needs.
“At Johnson Matthey, we see that demand for hydrogen ecosystems globally is being taken up across industry, transportation and the power sector at a rapid pace, especially with the increased focus on energy security.
“As the UK’s Hydrogen Champion, working with industry and Government, I hope to ensure we make progress in building a thriving hydrogen economy ensuring private sector investment and policy decisions are aligned to support timely decisions and outcomes.”
Clare Jackson, Chief Executive of Hydrogen UK added: “Jane Toogood’s appointment as the UK’s first Hydrogen Champion – and opening of the joint allocation round for green hydrogen projects – is a welcome statement of intent from the government.”
As well as beig CEO of catalyst technologies Catalyst Technologies at Johnson Matthey, Ms Toogood is co-chair (with the BEIS Secretary of State) of the Hydrogen Advisory Council.
She has also chaired Johnson Matthey’s internal Brexit working group and has worked for Borealis, ICI and Uniqema in the past.
Ms Toogood joined her current company’s ‘Group Leadership Team’ in March 2016 as divisional director before becoming sector chief executive in April 2017.
Hydrogen Investment Summit
The Business and Energy Secretary will meet with industry to accelerate private investment in hydrogen as a clean energy source today.
A new round of funding will be announced at today’s Hydrogen Investment Summit. This is said to “give investors the confidence they need, reaffirming the government’s vision for the UK to be a hydrogen-based economy – as set out in the Hydrogen Strategy published in August 2021.”
This is being put in place to move towards the government’s plan to have 1GW of electrolytic hydrogen in operation or construction by the end of 2025. That amount of energy could fuel up to 45,000 buses per year.
The government is progressing towards unlocking the £9 billion investment needed to ensure the use of hydrogen as the UK moves away from fossil fuels.
Recently the government has opened applications for the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, published the Hydrogen Investor Roadmap, and set out details for the Hydrogen Business Model and Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard.
Energy Minister Greg Hands will announce the opening of the joint allocation round for electrolytic (‘green’) hydrogen projects, a method which uses an electrical current to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water.
This funding will come from the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, and the Hydrogen Business Model (HBM).
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK’s hydrogen sector is open for business.
“With the right investment, we can unlock the enormous potential of hydrogen by reindustrialising our economy and ending our dependency on expensive fossil fuels.
“The new funding represents an important step forward in realising this potential, and I look forward to working with Jane Toogood as our new Hydrogen Champion, ensuring industry and government are aligned to accelerate hydrogen production as a clean, home grown energy source – boosting our energy security and creating jobs.”