Hydrogen UK has appointed executives from Ørsted and Centrica to serve as co-vice presidents of the trade association.
Olivia Breese, chief executive officer and senior vice president of Ørsted green hydrogen and e-fuel business Power-to-X, and Centrica Energy head of hydrogen William Mezzullo will serve a two-year tenure.
The pair were elected by the Hydrogen UK executive committee to replace outgoing vice-president, Cadent Gas director of strategy Angela Needle.
Under the leadership of Ms Breese, Ørsted has expanded its renewable energy portfolio beyond Northern Europe to markets in North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
Taking on the new role, Ms Breese said she was honoured to support Hydrogen UK at a “pivotal moment” in the development of the UK hydrogen market.
The UK has a fantastic opportunity to grow a world leading hydrogen industry, but it requires policy makers, developers, supply chain and offtakers to work together to deliver on that – and Hydrogen UK has proven their ability to build this coalition of the willing to build on the initial progress made,” Ms Breese said.
Mr Mezzullo sits on the UK government’s Hydrogen Delivery Council’s Production Working Group and is chairman of the Renewable Energy Association’s Hydrogen and Biomethane member forum.
He said he was “extremely grateful and privileged” following the appointment.
“As the industry gathers pace, we’re committed to helping the government achieve its low carbon hydrogen ambitions by 2030, and ensuring the UK realises its potential in being a global hydrogen hub,” Mr Mezzullo said.
Announcing the appointments, Hydrogen UK said the experience of Ms Breese and Mr Mezzullo “mirrors the diversity of the hydrogen industry and ensures all members of the association are well represented”.
UK hydrogen ‘falling behind’
Earlier this year, Hydrogen UK and other industry leaders warned the country risked “falling behind” the European Union and the United States in developing a competitive hydrogen market.
Despite its promise as an emissions-free energy source, hydrogen currently remains too expensive to entice many manufacturers.
To spur investment in the sector, the UK government launched its first electrolytic hydrogen allocation round (HAR1) in July last year with the successful projects set to be announced before the end of 2023.
However, the scheme has already attracted strong criticism from within the industry with one expert predicting HAR 1 will be a “total failure”.
BP, SSE Renewables and EDF Renewables are among the developers of a total of 17 projects shortlisted for funding.