Hydrogen UK sets out key policy asks to incoming government

Leading hydrogen trade association Hydrogen UK has launched its manifesto – putting forward key policy recommendations for the incoming government to help the industry realise its full potential.

This manifesto offers directives that range from an outline of the first 100 days in office, to longer term solutions. These include a ministerial role with direct responsibility for hydrogen within Government to champion the sector’s growth and ensure cohesive policymaking across departments. To catalyse industry momentum, the acceleration of investment decisions for pioneering hydrogen projects is required, setting a precedent for subsequent initiatives.  

Hydrogen UK CEO Clare Jackson said:

“Seeing is believing with any innovative technology. To showcase hydrogen’s true value, we must ensure pioneering projects reach final investment decisions  as soon as possible. The incoming government must prioritise this within its first 100 days, or risk jeopardising all progress made thus far.”  

Hydrogen UK says that expediting the first Hydrogen Allocation Rounds of the Hydrogen Storage Business Model and Hydrogen Transport Business Model is required to provide clarity on the regions and projects that will be selected. A reiteration of the commitment to future Hydrogen Allocation Rounds and releasing the consultation on the design of the hydrogen funding mechanism is called for, providing funding certainty for hydrogen support schemes which is essential for instilling investor confidence across the sector.  

A single standard (i.e. the Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard) for use across departments responsible for supply and demand, should be adopted to ensure a single consistent definition of low carbon hydrogen across all government support mechanisms. 

Finally, the manifesto calls for the immediate funding of projects within Track-1 of the Cluster Sequencing Process, and the announcement of successful Track-1x projects. Clear timelines and funding envelopes for and Track-2 Projects must also be set.  

The UK hydrogen industry is set to deliver significant economic impact, which by Hydrogen UK’s own analysis, could result in 64,000 UK jobs and a hydrogen economy that could generate over £7 billion in gross value added (GVA) annually by the end of the decade.  

As it stands, the UK is well placed to capitalise on the hydrogen opportunity and emerge as a global leader. Strides have been made in establishing a framework for hydrogen development, however, the next five years will be critical for the sector as it continues to gain momentum with development and delivery. 

But Hydrogen UK says that delivery requires a committed, decisive government, and one which collaborates closely with industry. With the target of low carbon hydrogen production now doubled to 10GW, the more than 100 members making up the trade association have collated a series of key asks for the incoming government to help reach this and reaffirm investor confidence.   

Clare Jackson concludes by saying:  

“With a comprehensive strategy in place, the hydrogen sector has outlined what is required from the government to scale up effectively. To do this, it is imperative to get the first production projects over the line and into construction as a matter of urgency. A new Government presents an opportunity for policymakers to solidify commitments and accelerate the deployment of hydrogen technology, ensuring the UK remains competitive in the global race.   

“We’re at a critical juncture and must be reaffirming investor confidence in order to drive the inward investment. Further delay and stagnation risks net-zero goals, establishing energy security, and ultimately missing out on the economic growth that the industry can bring to the UK.” 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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