Understanding the backdrop of the UK hydrogen economy

We have compiled this research note on the UK hydrogen economy as a primer for an upcoming series of hydrogen insight papers.

We discuss past and current hydrogen support schemes in the UK as well as the bodies that have been established to stimulate a hydrogen economy. We explain various hydrogen production methods and how they produce different “types” of hydrogen, based on their carbon intensity. We then consider the applications of hydrogen in the economy, focusing on the transport, heat, industrial and energy storage sectors. Key issues include gas infrastructure repurposing and the development of industrial clusters to drive hydrogen production. This research note also presents summaries of major hydrogen projects at home and abroad that are pioneering technological innovations that can drive market development.

The issues raised here will be treated independently and in more detail in subsequent insight papers.

Neil Mearns, Cornwall Insight, Senior Writer commented

With a burst of activity in the hydrogen space over the last couple of years, it is vital to collate the major developments to paint a clear picture of where the UK is in respect of developing a hydrogen economy. This research note also identifies some of the challenges a hydrogen transition poses. These must be overcome to facilitate large-scale roll out of hydrogen technology, which could help deliver meaningful carbon reductions and aid the drive to net zero.

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