Blue hydrogen “essential” to UK’s shift to low carbon energy


Blue hydrogen is set to prove crucial to the UK’s transition to low carbon energy as it works to reach net zero by 2050, a report has said.

On 6 July, the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UKHFCA) released a position paper, The case for blue hydrogen. Within this, it set out how the UK is well placed to take advantage of opportunities from low carbon blue hydrogen, owed to its existing, historic large-scale production of natural gas and the government’s commitment to the technology. It forecast that by 2030, the UK could deploy 10GW of blue hydrogen and reach 80GW by 2050, though this will call for clearer direction and support from government.

This will include setting and implementing low carbon hydrogen standards for the carbon content of hydrogen and providing business models and targeted support mechanisms, enabling low carbon production across all colours at scale, complementary to carbon pricing. Clarity and greater certainty is also needed around the support available for blue hydrogen, which would help to drive innovation and investment.

It highlighted confirmation of the way forward for hydrogen blending into the gas grid and the implementation of certification schemes as two areas where clear direction from government is especially vital.

It further recommended government sets ambitious targets for blue hydrogen production equivalent to those of green hydrogen, with a need to grow all types of low carbon hydrogen at scale; develops an industry wide plan for international cooperation, given the potential of the UK to become a world leading producer of hydrogen; and enables the transition of traditional roles in oil and gas to blue hydrogen as part of a just transition, securing employment and leveraging skills from a legacy sector.