Networks ready to back hydrogen in efforts to supercharge decarbonisation


The UK’s energy network operators have unveiled their #NetworksTenPointPlan for a green industrial revolution, with hydrogen among the key focus areas.

On 10 December, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) outlined how following the Prime Minister’s recent 10-point plan – regarded as the “most significant policy intervention” for the energy industry in almost a decade – the energy networks will be the foundation on which it is realised. Therefore to meet net zero targets and deliver the PM’s green industrial revolution, there is a need to go “further and faster” with the networks setting out how they will be “supercharging” decarbonisation.

Hydrogen will play a key role in this, with network operators already supporting electric and hydrogen buses and pledging to support more hydrogen and further electrification of public transport in all its forms, including trains powered by hydrogen. Green innovation to assess how hydrogen and further electrification can be used in shipping and aviation is underway, while projects to use excess wind to produce hydrogen are being explored.

On hydrogen specifically, the networks stressed that efforts to position the UK “at the top of the global race” must continue, with a series of green innovation projects underway, including Hy100, Hydeploy and H21. The networks added that a “hydrogen bonanza” will help a green economic recovery by creating jobs and cutting carbon emissions, ensuring the UK is able to remain a world leader in green industrial strategy.

The plan also acknowledged that with blue hydrogen forecast to have a clear and important role within the UK’s future energy mix, this will make carbon capture critical. It highlighted how gas network operators’ projects, such as HyNet, have shown the opportunities that blending can offer in driving the growth of this industry in future.