On 6 August, Philip Dunne MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) and MP for Ludlow, sent a letter to Business Secretary Alok Sharma outlining the need for development of a national hydrogen strategy.
In the letter, evidence was summarised from 99 pieces of written evidence and an oral online session held on 9 July (a write-up of this session can be found here).
The UK was deemed to be ‘falling behind other countries’ in respect of hydrogen, and other nations such as Australia, South Korea, Japan, Canada and China were highlighted as having effectively developed ‘ambitious strategies for their growing hydrogen economies’.
Recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change were referenced as wholly supportive of developing a hydrogen economy, urging a significant “ramping up” of policy and setting out of “cross-cutting vision and strategy for a hydrogen economy”.
A need for greater coordinated investment aligned to a strategy was highlighted as a necessary next step in order to build upon a range of small-scale grant funded projects to date. The letter also called for ‘demand signals’ from the government in order to support new business models for hydrogen investment and incentivise adoption in hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as industrial processes and transport. A need for the strategy to address hydrogen’s role in decarbonising domestic heating was also outlined.
Evidence from RenewableUK led the EAC to recommend not disregarding green hydrogen potential due to the UK’s competitive advantage particularly with its fast developing offshore wind portfolio.
The letter closed by recommending that the government should announce a hydrogen strategy in-line with the Autumn Budget and Spending Review.