Armitt: Hydrogen plans must proceed "at pace"

Commission responds to government updates to its hydrogen strategy and announcement of 11 new hydrogen production projects.

Published: 14 Dec 2023

By: Rob Mallows

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Hydrogen atoms

The government has this morning (14 Dec) announced plans for eleven new projects for hydrogen production in the UK, alongside updates to its existing strategy for the development of the hydrogen manufacturing in the UK.

The eleven projects will see the government invest around £400m over three years in projects producing ‘green’ hydrogen, as part of wider efforts to boost the growth of this key sector of the UK’s green economy. In addition, the government has published an updated delivery plan for its existing hydrogen strategy, a ‘vision’ document for hydrogen transportation and storage including details of proposed business models that will be used to boost production.

In response, the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said:

“This positive package of announcements rightly focuses on the need to quickly scale up access to hydrogen for those industries reliant on it to decarbonise, and the announcement of the first green hydrogen projects to receive support under this new production business model represents a real milestone for the UK’s hydrogen ambitions.

“I’m pleased government has taken on board many of the Commission’s recommendations set out in our recent National Infrastructure Assessment, such as the creation of a core hydrogen network connecting industrial hubs, a consultation on the right mechanisms to support the early deployment of hydrogen power generation and storage, and a commitment to consider the need for a strategic energy reserve.

“Given the scale of the decarbonisation challenge the country can’t afford to drag its heels, and the rolling programme of support to ramp up hydrogen production and a 2024 start date for allocating transport and storage business models shows the government is listening to the messages the Commission and others have been giving about the need for pace.”

The Second National Infrastructure Assessment published on 18 October set out a range of recommendations to government on the infrastructure needed to boost the UK’s hydrogen manufacturing and storage capacity and its role in supporting the UK’s net zero goals.

These include the creation of 8Twh of large scale hydrogen storage to be in operation by 2035, the development of the UK’s first operating core hydrogen pipeline connecting key industrial hubs by the same date, and having in place in 2024 a business model to support hydrogen-fired electricity generation. In addition, the Assessment called for government to set out plans to ensure that by 2030, ‘multiple’ large-scale power stations are deployed for both gas fired generation with carbon capture and storage and hydrogen generation.

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