A majority (78%) of industry leaders want a more ambitious hydrogen production target than the 5GW set out within the 10-point plan, a survey has revealed.
On 17 June, Hydrogen Strategy Now published the findings from its State of the Hydrogen Nation survey, which had sought to collate views from industry leaders on the progress and potential of the UK hydrogen sector to date. It also looked into the policy measures required to maximise the sector’s ability to create jobs and achieve major net zero gains, with a “bigger, bolder” production target recommended as it would support further and faster private investment and job creation into UK hydrogen projects
In terms of what the most important measure is government has taken on hydrogen to date, respondents overwhelmingly felt hydrogen’s inclusion as the second point of the 10-point plan was the most important measure. The commitment to publish a UK Hydrogen Strategy, the creation of hydrogen hubs in Teesside and Holyhead, proposals for a Clean Maritime Fund, consideration of hydrogen-ready appliances and the creation of a Hydrogen Advisory Council were also all cited as encouraging measures.
However, six in 10 (61%) are not confident the forthcoming strategy will create a “world leading” hydrogen market. This was cited as a finding ministers should closely consider as to create a world leading market, businesses must have the confidence to invest. Furthermore, the lack of a hydrogen strategy to date was referenced by half (49%) of respondents as stifling investments in the sector to date. Over two-thirds (38.4%) also stated the UK is harder to invest in than other countries. Considering these findings, Hydrogen Strategy Now emphasised the need for government to stick to its commitment and publish a UK Hydrogen Strategy within the first half of the year.
Government was deemed to be “somewhat” coordinated across departments on hydrogen by 65%, with the campaign referring this as a strong position to build from, recommending a cross-government political working group on hydrogen is created including representatives from the devolved administrations and local government. On local government, 41% have spoken to their MP about policies required to enable them to invest in hydrogen in the UK, 47% have spoken with their local council and 47.6% have spoken to a Combined Authority. While industry is engaging with politicians at all levels, the report said this is mixed and is something that could be improved.