Trade association RenewableUK has called out the UK government to give green hydrogen, instead of blue, the opportunity to flourish and get to zero emissions faster.

RenewableUK calls goverment to push for green hydrogen
Courtesy of ITM Power

RenewableUK submitted responses to the government’s consultations on low-carbon hydrogen. It stressed the fact that green hydrogen has a key role in reaching net-zero as quickly as possible.

It calls again for ministers to set a target of 5GW of electrolyser capacity to produce green H2 by 2030.

The trade association is also setting up a new working group of industry leaders. This is to ramp up the roll-out of green H2 as a clean fuel for sectors such as shipping.

RenewableUK’s new Green Hydrogen Working Group will meet for the first time on 29 November. It includes industry experts from companies such as the electrolyser manufacturer ITM Power.

Moreover, the UK should establish a certification scheme that clearly distinguishes between:

  • green hydrogen generated from clean sources
  • blue hydrogen produced using fossil fuels with carbon capture.

This would ensure that the significant premium of green hydrogen being emissions-free is not lost.

UK to set clear roadmap for green hydrogen

RenewableUK also says that establishing the right level of government support is vital to ensure fast progress. It is calling on BEIS to introduce schemes of funding in its business models and its Net Zero Hydrogen Fund. BEIS is UK’s department for business, energy and industrial strategy.

Overall, the government is more focused on blue H2 than green. You can also see this in the BEIS business models.

Many RenewableUK members feel that the current proposal of using the cost of natural gas to determine the reference price for hydrogen implies that the scheme is made for blue hydrogen. Thus, it exposes green hydrogen producers to the risk of gas price volatility.

Barnaby Wharton from RenewableUK said We’re calling for a clear road map from ministers which ensures we seize the opportunities offered by green hydrogen to help get us to net zero faster. To achieve this, we need a low carbon hydrogen certification scheme in place to provide clarity for developers and choice for consumers. This will help to kickstart a major new industry in the UK; putting us in pole position to ramp up to 5GW of green hydrogen production by 2030.”

We all know how volatile international gas prices can be, so basing the reference price of hydrogen on the cost of natural gas is inappropriate as a business model; that must change.”

“Separate pots of funding are vital to ensure that green H2 is given every opportunity to flourish so that it can decarbonise hard-to-reach sectors”.

ITM Power CEO Graham Cooley said: “By addressing green H2 in a coherent manner, the government can advance decarbonisation across the energy system... This requires considering the production-and-use of green hydrogen and implementing policies to incentivise its adoption”.

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