Powerhouses in hydrogen unite to highlight 10 ‘quick wins’ to turbo-boost the hydrogen economy

Ten key players in hydrogen – representing thousands of businesses in the sector – have joined forces to highlight 10 ‘quick wins’ to accelerate the growth of the hydrogen economy, launched today at the HEA 2024 Conference at the QEII Centre in Westminster. 

Hydrogen is an important component of the energy transition, offering substantial energy security and clean growth benefits alongside playing a vital role in delivering net zero. But it requires careful planning to deliver optimal outcomes. 

So, the Hydrogen Coordination Forum – which brings together a range of national and regional bodies across the hydrogen landscape, uniting in one collective voice to ensure the UK establishes a thriving hydrogen economy – have today announced 10 key actions to support the successful scale-up of the exciting new hydrogen infrastructure. 

This was presented to Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero as he took to the stage for the keynote address at the Conference.

“There has been some good initial progress to develop hydrogen in the UK, and many of these quick wins reflect the early stage of the industry and represent opportunities to smooth the path going forward,” said Celia Greaves, CEO of the Hydrogen Energy Association, which has convened the forum. 

“We agree that there are a series of ‘quick win’ policy reforms that, collectively, would support quicker growth of the UK hydrogen economy and accelerate the release of private investment into the market – results that are essential to deliver on the UK Government’s hydrogen growth targets.” 

The Hydrogen Coordination Forum brings together organisations including Renewables UK, the REA, Hydrogen East, the North-West Hydrogen Alliance, Scottish Renewables, Hydrogen Southwest, the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, the Decarbonised Gas Alliance, and the Midlands Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Network. 

The 10 quick wins are:  

  1. Stimulate supply to accelerate overall roll-out 
  2. Simplify planning framework to reduce costs and delays 
  3. Reconfirm commitment to hydrogen for net zero to bolster investor confidence 
  4. Clarify role for blending to enable project developers to better plan offtake 
  5. Allow Risk Taking Intermediaries in HAR2 to mitigate producer volume risk 
  6. Reduce temporal correlation requirements on a temporary basis to improve cost competitiveness 
  7. Define Hydrogen internal combustion as ICE to allow the UK to reap economic and employment benefits across UK manufacturing 
  8. Develop hydrogen refuelling standards to support roll-out of hydrogen mobility in the UK 
  9. Include hydrogen within the Venture Capital Scheme to enhance access to venture capital 
  10. Enhance role for regions in hydrogen roll-out to embed benefits nationally 

Today’s report outlines some of the most significant practical barriers to the rollout of the hydrogen that are in need of immediate policy reform. 

Barney Wharton, Director of Future Electricity Systems at Renewable UK, said: “With Hydrogen Allocation Round One projects looking to make final investment decisions and the next round already being assessed, now is the right time for the Government to take some quick steps to give confidence to the industry and show that we really mean business. 

“These ten steps will clarify and simplify the regulatory landscape for current and future hydrogen projects.  

“In particular, allowing risk taking intermediaries will project to diversity their customer base, making project more viable. The Government should also look for be more flexible in the correlation between renewable electricity input and hydrogen production, moving from a 30-minute basis to monthly to allow greater flexibility of production, while maintaining the low carbon credentials of green hydrogen production.” 

Ruth Herbert, CEO of the Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA), said: “Low carbon hydrogen has a pivotal role to play in the UK’s transition to net zero and carbon capture and storage enabled hydrogen production can provide a strong foundation for its future growth. 

“Given the uncertainty facing the current UK project pipeline and attractive investment environments emerging elsewhere, there is an urgent need to accelerate enabling policies and foster investor confidence to secure the UK’s position as a world-leading hydrogen economy.” 

The new report states: “As practitioners deploy projects, they are experiencing practical, unanticipated challenges which will become increasingly significant blockers as scale-up and roll-out accelerates. 

“Whilst previous energy transformations have happened over decades, allowing challenges to be addressed over time, the speed of growth that we expect and need with hydrogen means that a more proactive approach will be needed. 

“Highlighting and addressing these ‘quick wins’ now will avoid costly delays later.” 

Read the full report here and find out more about the Hydrogen Co-ordination Forum here