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Hydrogen: Technology

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the development of hydrogen technology to help decarbonise (a) transport, (b) heating and (c) heavy industry.

Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of hydrogen technology to help decarbonise (a) transport, (b) heating and (c) heavy industry.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Hydrogen is a potential decarbonisation option across multiple economic sectors, including transport, heat, industry and power. Our independent advisors the Committee on Climate Change have suggested that a major increase in hydrogen production is required in order to meet our 2050 net zero target, with a complete switch to low carbon production methods[1].

The Government is committed to exploring the option of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier, alongside electricity. In line with this we are investing up to £121m in hydrogen innovation, supporting a range of projects exploring the potential of low carbon hydrogen across the value chain. This includes the:

  • £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme - to increase the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles and grow the number of publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations
  • £25m Hy4Heat programme - to explore the safety and feasibility of using 100% hydrogen for heat in the home, including product development and core safety assessment.
  • £20m Industrial Fuel Switching Competition - to test the potential for switching to hydrogen (and other low carbon fuels) in industrial sectors like cement and glass manufacture.
  • £33m Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply Competition – to support the development of bulk low carbon hydrogen production technologies

Alongside our innovation activity, we are building sustainable policy frameworks to support investment in low carbon hydrogen production, including through progressing a business model to enable this.

[1] Net Zero – Technical Report, Committee on Climate Change, May 2019 - https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/net-zero-technical-report/

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