Hydrogen Production

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 21st September 2021.

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Photo of Andy Carter Andy Carter Conservative, Warrington South

What steps his Department is taking to support hydrogen production in the UK.

Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

What steps his Department is taking to support hydrogen production in the UK.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

My hon. Friend Andy Carter asks a timely question; he may be aware that the United Kingdom recently published a hydrogen strategy outlining the Government’s comprehensive package to incentivise low-carbon hydrogen, and a broader plan to help the wider hydrogen economy to develop.

Photo of Andy Carter Andy Carter Conservative, Warrington South

The recent increase in wholesale energy prices strengthens the case for investing in hydrogen in the north-west of England. May I urge the Minister to come to Warrington and see the businesses that rely on intensive use of energy, and rapidly progress hydrogen and the HyNet scheme to produce carbon capture and storage in the UK, so that businesses such as Novelis Recycling and Solvay Interox are able to decarbonise rapidly?

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

My hon. Friend is a doughty champion for the north-west and his constituency of Warrington. The Secretary of State has said to me that one of the ministerial team would be happy to visit. I think the Secretary of State would be happy to do that—indeed, I think he has already visited. As my hon. Friend is aware, many of the decisions around this matter are currently under way, so I am not going to comment on them at this point. At the end of the process, we will have a low-carbon hydrogen economy to be proud of.

Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

I welcome my hon. Friend to his place. Teesside already produces more than 50% of the UK’s commercially viable hydrogen. What assessment has he made of the benefits of the recently signed deal between BP, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Masdar for the Tees valley? Does he support the phenomenal work being done locally by Ben Houchen to revolutionise our green energy sector?

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

The benefits will be huge. This work is another example of the fantastic Conservative Tees valley team led by my hon. Friend, supporting Darlington, and the Mayor, and it demonstrates what we can do in an area to level up and improve it for the long term.