Increase 5 GW hydrogen targets or risk missing out on investment and jobs, UK Government warned by industry bosses

The UK could miss out on millions in investments and tens of thousands of jobs in the next ten years unless the Government raises its hydrogen production targets, according to a leading industry report published yesterday (16th June).
Increase 5 GW hydrogen targets or risk missing out on investment and jobs, UK Government warned by industry bosses
Courtesy of Hydrogen Strategy Now.

More than three-quarters of respondents to Hydrogen Strategy Now’s ‘State of the Hydrogen Nation’ survey said the 5 GW hydrogen production target set out in the PM’s Ten Point Plan is not ambitious enough. Almost half said the lack of a clear Hydrogen Strategy has seen the UK miss out on valuable investments into UK hydrogen projects, while 81 per cent said the UK was failing to meet its hydrogen potential.

Also likely to be of concern to ministers is the fact that 61 per cent of respondents were not confident that the Hydrogen Strategy would create a 'world leading' hydrogen market, which the Government has set as its measurement of success.

The State of the Hydrogen Nation Survey was launched in April this year by the Hydrogen Strategy Now group to analyse the views of industry leaders on the progress and potential of the UK hydrogen sector to date. This survey was the first of its kind in the UK, and has brought together the views of 120 leading national and international businesses and organisations at the forefront of the hydrogen economy.

Between them, the businesses employ approximately 100,000 people across all parts of the UK, with a combined net worth of £150 billion. They work across all sections of the hydrogen economy, including transport, heat, power generation, storage, infrastructure, investment, and transmission.

Industry does however recognise that hydrogen is now much higher up the political agenda, and cite hydrogen’s position as Point Two in the PM’s Ten Point Plan as being a game-changing moment in terms of business confidence. However, many respondents were becoming frustrated that the Government has still not published its hydrogen strategy.

“The UK has all the ingredients to be a world leading hydrogen economy, creating jobs, economic growth and accelerating the transition to net zero” said Chris Jackson, Chair of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. “Sadly the results of this survey show that the Government needs to go further and faster in its development of an appropriately ambitious hydrogen policy framework, to support industry and unlock the UK’s potential.

A clear takeaway from this survey is that the Government could create greater confidence and interest in the UK market by significantly increasing its hydrogen production targets, both for 2025 and 2030. If the Government’s ambition is to create a world-leading hydrogen market, then having world leading targets is key as is a detailed policy that shows close coordination between different government departments. The UK hydrogen sector has put its faith in Government promises that the UK will have a world leading hydrogen strategy, and consequently has invested millions into new staff, project development and scoping for new manufacturing facilities.

If the Government is able to deliver on that promise, this survey and other engagement works run by UK industry have demonstrated that billions of pounds of capital will be deployed. Industry is doing its part to support the green transition, create jobs and build back better. It’s now the Government’s turn to step up the table with a bold hydrogen platform.”

The survey also revealed that industry experts believe that Scotland is far ahead of the other devolved administrations when it comes to hydrogen ambitions. Almost three-quarters of respondents said the Scottish Government’s ambitious hydrogen production target of 5 GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030, combined with other decarbonisation commitments, has given it a clear lead over Wales and Northern Ireland.

For additional information:

Hydrogen Strategy Now

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