Hydrogen

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) the extent of the UK's natural resources and (b) whether those natural resources could be utilised to develop a green hydrogen industry.

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

The Government is committed to exploring the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier, alongside electricity and other decarbonised gases, in line with our 2050 net zero commitment. Low carbon hydrogen can be produced and stored in multiple ways and the UK has significant natural resources that – if used sustainably – can support development of a low carbon and renewable UK hydrogen supply.

The UK is the world’s largest offshore wind market with 9.8GW installed capacity, which will rise to 19.5GW by the mid-2020s. Renewable electricity can be used to produce hydrogen through electrolysis. We are supporting electrolytic hydrogen projects using renewable electricity, as part of up to £121m in innovation support across the low carbon hydrogen value chain. For example, the Dolphyn project is developing a system for clean hydrogen production through electrolysis on floating offshore wind turbines.

Low carbon hydrogen can also be produced through methane reformation with carbon capture, utlisation and storage. The UK has significant underground salt beds which could provide tens of gigawatts of cost effective storage to safely store hydrogen and other gases, and the depleted oil and gas reservoirs deep off our coastline that could potentially store more than 78 billion tonnes of CO2, meaning the UK is ideally placed to develop a thriving low carbon hydrogen industry.

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