Now that the dust has settled on Tuesday’s Hydrogen Strategy, we have pulled together some of the interesting reactions reported in the media. The dominating themes are Strategy’s lack of details, which is acknowledged by the Government, (overly) strong focus on blue hydrogen with CCUS, and downbeat on prospects for green hydrogen at least through to 2030, with a number of operators expressing disappointment with this.
We have taken a look at the initial perspectives as of 22 August of some key organisations and players in the industry:
|Organisation Name||Key message|
|New Anglia LEP||‘Government’s Hydrogen Strategy leaves region perfectly positioned to capitalise’|
New Anglia LEP chief executive Chris Starkie announced that the planned increased use of hydrogen present huge opportunities for the region, especially with the transformation of Bacton gas terminal into a diversified energy hub and planned Freeport East Hydrogen Hub
|ScottishPower||‘Zero means zero’|
ScottishPower predicts that its green hydrogen projects will demonstrate how critical green hydrogen is in tackling the climate emergency. They are stated that the scale of the Strategy’s industry support scheme shows that UK has real ambition to deliver hydrogen at pace.
|ITM Power||‘Launch of UK Hydrogen Strategy at Official Opening of Bessemer Park Gigafactory’|
Kwasi Kwarteng launches the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy and officially opens the Bessemer Park Gigafactory. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power says that Hydrogen Strategy will help British companies become world leaders in decarbonisation
|Regen||‘Regen responds to the UK Hydrogen Strategy’|
Regen describes Hydrogen Strategy as high in ambition but light on clear strategic direction, there is lack of mention of development of demand markets and new hydrogen applications.
|RenewableUK||‘Government’s Hydrogen Strategy must develop green hydrogen as a major source of clean energy’|
RenewableUK’s CEO Dan McGrail said that he welcomes the steps such as the new Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, but points out the overall the strategy doesn’t focus on developing UK’s world-leading green hydrogen industry. He also said: We’re urging the Government to set a target of 5GW of renewable hydrogen electrolyser capacity by 2030 as well as setting out a roadmap to get us there, to show greater leadership on tackling climate change”.
|ENA||‘Energy networks respond to UK Hydrogen Strategy’|
David Smith, Chief Executive at Energy Networks Association urges: “We need further recognition that for hydrogen to play its part in Net Zero, producing 5GW of hydrogen by 2030 will not be enough. We must set our sights higher, towards a figure twice that amount.”
|S&P Global||‘UK Hydrogen Strategy welcome step for industry, but details needed for investment’|
The strategy “will definitely improve market confidence”, UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association CEO Celia Greaves told S&P Global Platts. “But whether a project is feasible will depend on the detailed numbers. So we do need those as soon as possible.” Equinor states that the strategy is a step forward but is not enough to make final investment decisions
|Cadent||‘Cadent’s response to Hydrogen Strategy’|
Cadent Chief Strategy and Regulation Officer, Dr Tony Balance is supportive of plans to introduce hydrogen blending into the wider gas network. He adds that this should be aligned with a mandate to introduce ‘hydrogen-ready’ boilers from 2025
|North West Hydrogen Alliance||‘Hydrogen Strategy published’|
Professor Joe Howe, Chair of the North West Hydrogen Alliance welcomes the commitment to develop a Hydrogen Sector Development Action Plan to ensure that economic benefits from hydrogen are kept in the UK. He also states that now’s the time to start raising public awareness of hydrogen to engage people in the hydrogen revolution.
|UK HFCA||‘UK HFCA commentary on the UK Hydrogen Strategy’|
UK HFCA states that the Government needs to introduce business models that are attractive and workable for both green and blue hydrogen and reflect their different characteristics.
|The Conversation||‘Hydrogen: UK government sees future in low-carbon fuel – but what’s the reality?’|
The Conversation is critical of the governments “twin track approach”, where both blue and green hydrogen would be used to phase out fossil fuels, as the research suggests that blue hydrogen might be worse than burning natural gas due to methane emissions throughout the supply chain.
|BBC||‘Hydrogen power offers jobs boost, says government’|
Alan Whitehead MP, Labour’s shadow minister for energy and the green new deal said: “It is regrettable that the Conservatives have failed to match the investment shown by other countries and key decisions have been delayed, such as mandating that all boilers must be hydrogen-ready.” Environmental campaigners criticise the strategy as having too much focus on blue hydrogen
|Business Green||‘”Expensive distraction”: Chair of UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association resigns citing blue hydrogen concerns’|
Chair of UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association said: “I believe passionately that I would be betraying future generations by remaining silent on that fact that blue hydrogen is at best an expensive distraction, and at worst a lock-in for continued fossil fuel use that guarantees we will fail to meet our decarbonisation goals”.
|H2 View||‘H2 View analysis: UK’s Hydrogen Strategy raises more questions than gives answers’|
H2 View criticises the Strategy as having too much focus on blue hydrogen, as the document hinted that the UK would be seeing no significant development of green hydrogen until beyond 2030. The Strategy itself admitted there is policy and regulatory uncertainty around hydrogen, which is a challenge. H2 View also points out that UK’s targets are behind other top 10 nations.