The government has published plans for an Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator (IHA) Programme and is seeking feedback.
Releasing details on 28 February, it explained that the programme would provide funding for innovative projects that can demonstrate end-to-end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen, covering the entirety of the technology chain, spanning from hydrogen generation and delivery infrastructure through to industrial end-use. This would also include the integration of the components in a single project.
Demonstrations and feasibility studies would be funded through the competition. The studies would explore how systems could be designed, providing information on technical requirements and costs, while demonstration projects would construct end-to-end industrial hydrogen systems, proving their feasibility and providing evidence of real-world performance and cost.
A potential design of the programme, though subject to change, would see three streams – 1, 2A and 2B. Stream 1 would be a grant funding competition for demonstration projects, aiming to open in April 2022, with applicants having to provide match funding, and projects expected to be of the order 1-10MW. Steam 2A would be an SBRI competition for feasibility studies, also aiming to open in April, with no match funding required at this point and winners then able to bid for a demonstration grant under Stream 2B.
Stream 2B, therefore, would also be a grant funding competition for demonstration projects where applicants will have to provide match funding. It would only be open to projects that completed feasibility studies in Stream 2A and once more, the government would expect projects to be of the order 1-10MW. The evidence gathered through the IHA on the use of hydrogen by industrial users will be used to help inform strategic decisions in 2026 on the role of low carbon hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas in the gas grid.
Expressions of interest are now being invited from those that wish to be kept up to date with developments regarding the IHA programme. The government stressed the announcement does not formally signify the beginning of a procurement, nor constitute a commitment from BEIS to undertake a procurement exercise, with a separate notice to be issued should this become the case.
For now, it is set to hold an online stakeholder engagement session on 8 March, allowing interested parties to find out more about the competition and provide feedback on the proposed programme design. The presentation from the event will be published online, allowing those unable to attend to provide their own feedback on the proposals.
Responses are invited by 18 March to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.