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Hydrogen applications and strategies

Neil Mearns Senior Writer

The election of a majority Conservative Government on 12 December will invite questions about the party’s energy sector pledges as outlined in its manifesto. Among the sectors to be earmarked for support was hydrogen, with the Conservatives saying it would “support gas for hydrogen production”. In this Perspective, we consider UK government-backed hydrogen projects to date, some noteworthy industry projects that have emerged in recent months and some hydrogen strategies that have been devised in other countries. Context The government announced £390mn of funding on 29 August to help industry cut emissions. This included a: £40mn Hydrogen and Fuel Switching Innovation Fund £100mn competition to enable greater supply of low-carbon hydrogen for use across the economy £250mn Clean Steel Fund. The government previously launched a £20mn Hydrogen Supply programme in September 2018 aimed at accelerating the development of low carbon bulk hydrogen supply solutions in industry, power, heat and transport. A Hydrogen for Heating project, which is exploring the potential use of hydrogen gas for heating UK homes and businesses, has been running from 2017 and will continue to run until 2021. The importance of hydrogen in a low-carbon economy was alluded to in The Clean Growth Strategy, published in October 2018. It has also been recognised by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), with Hydrogen in a Low-carbon Economy published in November 2018. This document highlighted the role of hydrogen in power generation (replacing natural gas in flexible thermal plants), low-carbon transport, heating buildings and reducing emissions ...

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