The UK Government has published its long-awaited plans for a UK-wide hydrogen economy, which it says could be worth £900m and create more than 9,000 high-quality jobs by the end of the decade, rising to £13bn and 100,000 new jobs by 2050.
The strategy document lays out its efforts to attract investment in 5 gigawatts of hydrogen production by 2030, which would mostly power heavy industry, as well as transport and up to 70,000 homes. It suggests hydrogen could cover 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050, providing a clean alternative to oil and gas in energy-intensive industries, power and transport.
The UK Government aims to replace up to one-fifth of natural gas with “green” hydrogen, made through electrolysis powered by renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
It proposes a series of industry consultations to help establish a subsidy system to support large hydrogen projects to decarbonise areas that cannot run on electricity.