RenewableUK sets out how to unlock “at least” 5GW of green hydrogen


The government has been told to outline a detailed green hydrogen roadmap to deliver its 5GW target for 2030.

On 5 May, RenewableUK published Green Hydrogen: Optimising Net Zero, a report mapping out a series of policy recommendations to drive government to its target of 10GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2030. This includes at least 5GW from green hydrogen production. It noted how a UK-wide green hydrogen economy has the potential to tackle hard-to-electrify sectors on route to net zero, solve the challenge of integrating renewables, boost the UK’s energy security, and create jobs.

While describing the 5GW green hydrogen target for 2030 as encouraging, it stressed this ambition now needs to be met with an enabling policy and regulatory environment. Government has proven too slow in announcing key policy decisions needed to give certainty and unlock future pipelines of green hydrogen projects. It further warned that a failure to drive the necessary policy changes for green hydrogen in the 2020s could see the UK lose out on the opportunity to countries that have robust electrolyser-specific strategies.

RenewableUK went on to highlight key enabling actions to drive a green hydrogen revolution, noting that laying the necessary foundations today could see the cost of green hydrogen fall to £2/kg by 2030 and below £1.50/kg by 2050.

It is therefore calling for government to set out a detailed roadmap, outlining how 5GW of green hydrogen capacity can be secured by 2030. This should include a supportive planning regime, ensuring electrolysers can be built alongside windfarms, while RenewableUK is also calling on ministers to exempt electrolysers from some charges for access to the grid.

Further recommendations include the introduction of a standard that specifically promotes green hydrogen as a zero carbon fuel, making it clear other types of low carbon hydrogen do not have this pedigree; for BEIS to ensure all types of green hydrogen projects, big or small can receive support under the Hydrogen Business Model; and more funding and clearer and simpler rules nationwide to allow large green hydrogen projects faster to be built, helping to address barriers to the planning system.

It is also pledging to work with ministers to develop a UK-based green hydrogen supply chain, manufacturing electrolysers and compressors, ensuring the economic and industrial benefits of this technology can be felt in the UK, while stressing the need to ensure the UK has large-scale green hydrogen storage facilities for the future. This would involve making use of former gas storage facilities and salt caverns, as well as good interconnections with the European hydrogen network, allowing for exports.