Environment & ClimateFossil FuelsHydrogenRenewable energy

Hydrogen given Government funding boost and COP28 recognition.

By January 3, 2024 No Comments

In the wake of COP28 and the agreements made by the international communities, we are now entering ’the end of the fossil fuel era’.

The agreements at the COP acknowledged that a collective alternative energy and fuel scenario is the only way to cut emissions and keep temperatures at or below the 1.5° temperature.

President of COP28 Al Jaber, repeatedly suggested an ambitious outcome from the summit, encouraging an agreement by governments to double current global hydrogen production from 95 million tonnes to 180 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) by 2030.

According to the United Nations ‘Mutual recognition of certification schemes for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives’ participants agreed to a list of statements including:

‘Acknowledging that renewable and low-carbon hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives will play an essential role in meeting global energy needs and decarbonizing our industries as part of a people-centred energy transition to net zero that leaves no-one behind’ (1)

COP28 has put hydrogen in front of a global audience and participants of the COP are now in agreement to not only recognise hydrogen’s importance in reducing emissions, but they are directly adapting and adopting strategies to include and encourage investment in their own countries.

Closer to home the green hydrogen economy is attracting more and more ambitious projects with many of them directly benefitting from UK government funding.

Many of the projects putting themselves forward for investment are keen to showcase the importance and versatility of green hydrogen and how their projects can support the UK energy and transport decarbonisation programmes.

A press release from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and The Rt Hon Claire Coutinho MP on 14 December 2023 highlighted the UK Government’s latest investment programme for the hydrogen economy.

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho announced Government backing for 11 major projects to produce green hydrogen using electrolysis and confirmed that suppliers would receive a guaranteed price from the government for the clean energy they supply.

These 11 projects represent the largest number of commercial scale green hydrogen production projects announced at once anywhere in Europe, helping to place the UK at the forefront of this emerging industry.

The UK government have already pledged £2 billion to be invested in the hydrogen economy over the next 15 years.

In return for this government support, the successful projects will invest over £400 million in the next 3 years, generating more than 700 jobs in local communities across the UK and delivering 125MW of new hydrogen for businesses including:

  • Sofidel in South Wales, who will replace 50% of their current gas boiler consumption with hydrogen at their Port Talbot paper mill
  • InchDairnie Distillery in Scotland, who plan to run a boiler on 100% hydrogen for use in their distilling process
  • PD Ports in Teesside, who will use hydrogen to replace diesel in their vehicle fleet, decarbonising port operations from 2026 (2)

“The hydrogen industry welcomes the suite of announcements including the results of HAR1 negotiations that provide crucial support to first mover UK hydrogen projects and will help kickstart domestic production. HAR1 and the various other documents including a thorough Update to the Market, the Hydrogen Production Delivery Roadmap and the Transport and Storage Networks Pathway are important steps forward for the UK’s hydrogen economy” Clare Jackson, CEO of Hydrogen UK  (2)

The UK green hydrogen economy has already welcomed other projects working towards green hydrogen production.

Lanarkshire Green Hydrogen

Octopus Hydrogen is a hydrogen developer and technology company. Its aim is to produce green hydrogen using electrolysers powered entirely by renewable energy.

Lanarkshire Green Hydrogen will deploy 15MW of electrolysis directly connected to an onshore wind farm, to produce over 3.5 tonnes per day of green hydrogen. The hydrogen will be used by customers to replace high emission fuels such as diesel and support the decarbonisation of sectors like commercial transport. It can also be used to displace grey hydrogen used in industrial processes. (3)

Port of Felixstowe Green Hydrogen Project

ScottishPower and Hutchison Ports have identified the Port of Felixstowe as a highly strategic location for a large-scale green hydrogen hub. Deploying 100MW of electrolytic hydrogen production by 2026, the project will provide a significant contribution to the UK Government low-carbon hydrogen production capacity targets of 10GW by 2030. (3)

The system will use 100% renewable electricity to power electrolysers, which take in water and produce carbon free green hydrogen. The ports will benefit from the carbon free fuel which will provide the means to fuel-switch machinery, including terminal tractors, cranes and rail shunters and will be used in on-site vehicles. (3)

Conrad Energy Hydrogen Lowestoft

Conrad Energy Hydrogen will build a new hydrogen production capacity of 2MW, using electrolysis in Lowestoft, East Suffolk.

The hydrogen will initially be used as vehicle fuel for marine vessels serving offshore wind turbines, with several other off-takers also interested in using the hydrogen. The plant will produce 150 tonnes of hydrogen per year, assuming 30% load factor due to intermittent renewable power input, which will annually eliminate the usage of 500,000 litres of diesel, reducing emissions by 1,250 tonnes of CO2-equivalent. (3)

With the recognition of hydrogen as an important player in the reduction of global emissions and the continued investment both here and internationally; the green hydrogen economy now has a platform to grow from and actively influence keeping global temperatures to 1.5°.

Written by Katy Mason for and on behalf of Dolphin N2.

  1. https://www.cop28.com/en/cop28-uae-declaration-on-hydrogen-and-derivatives
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-boost-for-hydrogen-as-uk-unlocks-new-investment-and-jobs
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-hydrogen-fund-strands-1-and-2-successful-applicants/net-zero-hydrogen-fund-strands-1-and-2-summaries-of-successful-applicants-round-1-april-2022-competition#:~:text=for%20the%20project.-,HyNet%20Hydrogen%20Production%20Plant%20HPP2,production%20hub%20in%20the%20UK