hydrogen pumping station

Hydrogen sector calls for all boilers to be ‘hydrogen ready’ by 2026

Image credit: Dreamstime

The UK’s hydrogen sector has called on the government to do more to support the rapidly growing industry including making it mandatory for all new boilers to support 100 per hydrogen by 2026.

The government’s Energy Security Strategy, which was unveiled in April, increased hydrogen production targets to 10GW by 2030 with at least half coming from green hydrogen which is carbon-neutral.

During the launch of its ‘Hydrogen Accelerators’ report at the Conservative Party Conference, Hydrogen UK (HUK) claims the industry is growing so quickly that its current production project pipeline already exceeds this target by a third.

It is now pushing for a rapid scaling up of production, greater support for distribution and storage infrastructure, and the creation of demand in end-use sectors.

To support this, the body wants the government to set a target for 1,000,000 homes to be heated by hydrogen by 2035 as well as the 2026 targets for boilers.

It also called for reform of the gas markets to include the potential for green gas and low-carbon hydrogen as well as clarification of the future of VAT for hydrogen. Currently, hydrogen is taxed at 20 per cent VAT versus 5 per cent for natural gas.

Hydrogen can be produced in two ways – but only one of these is considered to be truly low-carbon.

Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water by electrolysis while blue hydrogen is produced by splitting natural gas. While green hydrogen can be a zero-emission fuel when electrolysis is powered by renewables, blue hydrogen can only be described as a net-zero carbon fuel when used in conjunction with carbon capture and storage.

As part of the Energy Security Strategy, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is aiming to run yearly electrolytic allocation rounds for hydrogen to drive production.

The first round will only support some 250MW of green hydrogen production, HUK has said this should be increased to 750MW of production in each of the first two rounds.

“We are currently aware of 1.5GW of green hydrogen production projects that could begin producing by 2025,” it added.

It also wants commitments to the development of a national network of 100 per cent hydrogen pipelines that will link industrial clusters.

HUK CEO Clare Jackson said: “If we truly want Britain to secure a slice of this $2.5tn global hydrogen pie, we need to get our skates on because we are competing with other countries for investment. Hydrogen UK’s Accelerators provide detailed steps that industry and government must take together to fast-track hydrogen’s progress in the UK, to secure our place as a global leader, create new jobs and economic prosperity and ensure that we deliver net zero cost-effectively.”

The call for action follows the European Commission’s announcement of a €3bn hydrogen bank last month designed to help build a future market for the fuel.

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