Green hydrogen could generate £320bn in the UK
9th September 2020 | Commercial Energy
Developing a green hydrogen industry could create 120,000 jobs and deliver £320bn to the UK economy by 2050, new research has indicated. A report released by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult said the UK has the right nexus of factors – a strong industrial base, world-leading academic research and offshore wind capacity potential – to produce low costs, sustainable hydrogen without CO2 emissions from water electrolysis.
But to do this, the UK must act now, the report said.
Developing green hydrogen in the next five years will be critical in cutting costs, growing the manufacturing and export industries and forming the supply and demand relationships necessary to support it. OWIC and ORE call for a new national strategy to catalyse the creation of the green hydrogen industry, as well as policy and regulations, targeted research and development, and new infrastructure to validate potential products and services.
Baroness Brown of Cambridge Julia King, an offshore wind sector champion and chair of the OWIC working group for the research, said that wind and hydrogen together “form a compelling combination as part of a net-zero economy for the UK”.
If pursued, hydrogen could become a major new manufacturing sector in the UK and a cheaper, cleaner alternative to blue hydrogen that is produced from methane. “With accelerated deployment, green hydrogen costs can be competitive with those from methane-based production with CCS (blue hydrogen) by the early 2030s,” the Solving the Integration Challenge report said.
It estimated the global market for electrolyser exports at £250bn and cites the potential for another £48bn from hydrogen exports to Europe. Further opportunities for inward investment “have already been demonstrated in ITM Power and Ceres Power, and Siemens interest in investing in an electrolyser giga-factory here.”
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