Report highlights role of renewable hydrogen in UK’s future energy system


Renewable hydrogen is set to play a key role in the UK’s successful transition from fossil fuels, according to RenewableUK.

On 21 May, it published a report, Powering the Future: RenewableUK’s Vision of the Transition, in which it outlined how renewable hydrogen, alongside a substantial expansion of wind energy and other clean power sources, will drive the UK to achieving its climate targets. According to its forecast, low cost renewable power will grow rapidly over the next 10 years, meeting new demand from electric vehicles, low carbon heating, and renewable hydrogen. By 2050, it predicated that renewables will provide over three quarters (76%) of the UK’s power needs.

Green hydrogen was cited as having “huge potential” as a zero carbon alternative to fossil fuels. RenewableUK mapped out how owed to the UK’s mix of high renewable energy capacity and strong climate change policies, renewable hydrogen will likely become cost competitive in the UK faster than anywhere else. Once at this point, renewable hydrogen could then be used in place of gas in factories, especially in heavy industries such as steel making, as well as for heating boilers in homes. Furthermore, green hydrogen could be used to power a turbine in the same way as a combined cycle gas turbine plant currently works, and in hydrogen fuel cells for heavy goods vehicles and shipping.

RenewableUK Chief Economist, and report author, Marina Valls, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the energy sector. We’re entering an era of rapid technological change as we move closer towards total decarbonisation, using an even wider range of technologies such as renewable hydrogen alongside more wind, solar, battery storage and – crucially – people participating far more pro-actively in the way our modern energy system operates, making it more flexible.”