Industry calls for ‘urgent’ publication of strategy to bolster hydrogen transport
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The UK needs a national hydrogen transport strategy to support its decarbonisation plan and efforts to meet net zero, an industry body has said.
In the future, hydrogen could be used to fuel vehicles where current battery technologies struggle to provide enough power density such as planes and heavy goods trucks.
Hydrogen UK, which represents the industry, has called on the government to publish a strategy with aims to establish a network of refuelling stations by 2030.
It also called for an increase in the rollout of more hydrogen ecosystems like the Tees Valley project, which attempts to aggregate various hydrogen demands to reduce the risk of investing in supply.
The report benchmarks the UK’s current global position on hydrogen transport deployment against other international economies.
“We know that hydrogen has a critical role to play in the decarbonisation of transport and this report highlights the importance of implementing a national hydrogen transport strategy,” said Hydrogen UK’s CEO Clare Jackson.
“The UK government and hydrogen industry must respond to ensure that we capitalise on the opportunities presented by this critical resource, which will help to drive the decarbonisation of our transport sector.”
While hydrogen is a potentially zero-carbon fuel source, it can be more carbon intensive than gas and coal if derived from fossil fuels rather than through electrolysis powered by a renewable energy source, in what is known as ‘green hydrogen’.
Currently, 95 per cent of hydrogen produced worldwide is produced from fossil fuels by splitting natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide and therefore has a high carbon footprint.
Last year, the government launched a funding round for green energy projects including the world’s first national clean-hydrogen subsidy scheme, which will help finance an initial 1GW of green hydrogen projects by 2025.
“The UK urgently needs to develop a national Hydrogen Transport strategy if it wants to deliver the opportunities of job creation and economic growth that the sector offers,” said Allan Rushforth, chief commercial officer at First Hydrogen.
“Successful deployment requires coordination between transport networks and energy production, together with a combination of H2 refuelling on trunk roads and at zero-emission fleet depots.
“Without this, hydrogen ecosystems such as Tees Valley and urban Ultra Low Emission Zones will not deliver the potential boost to regional and national growth, or indeed net-zero target achievement, that can be achieved with greater engagement from government.”
British start-up Element 2 is currently planning to build out a nationwide network of around 30 hydrogen refuelling stations that will be operational at the end of this year.
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