The UK Government is moving forward with policies to ramp up its nascent green hydrogen industry that uses renewable energy as it seeks ways to reduce dependence on imports of natural gas.
Britain will announce a new round of subsidies for the technology as it meets with industry leaders on Wednesday. Jane Toogood, an executive at Johnson Matthey Plc, has been appointed as ‘Hydrogen Champion’ to bridge the gap between companies and the government.
The UK aims to use its growing fleet of wind farms to produce hydrogen to replace fossil fuels in industry, transportation and power generation. Nations throughout Europe are looking for ways to reduce gas use in the short-term to cut dependence on Russia, and in the long-term to stem emissions.
“With the right investment, we can unlock the enormous potential of hydrogen by re-industrializing our economy and ending our dependency on expensive fossil fuels,” Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement.
Gas storage sites owned by SSE Plc and Centrica Plc have been earmarked to be converted to store hydrogen in future. The fuel is likely to be produced near so-called industrial clusters of heavy industry. Carbon capture and storage technology will also be deployed in these areas.
As well as focusing on hydrogen, the UK previously selected a so-called champion for offshore wind, Tim Pick, and met with more than a dozen firms to discuss carbon capture investment in late June.
The new round of funding builds on the governments hydrogen strategy published in last year that’s supposed to unlock £9 billion ($10.8 billion) of investment. The government has a target to deploy 1 gigawatt of electrolysers by 2025, a target that will require action soon.
To stimulate the necessary investment, the UK launched a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and the Hydrogen Business Model, a mechanism to subsidize revenue for producers of hydrogen.