UK Government set to double 2030 hydrogen power target to 10GW
The Government had issued £400m to explore the development of innovative low-carbon technologies such as hydrogen, with reports emerging that a 5GW national capacity target for hydrogen will be doubled to 10GW.
Through the Government’s UK Export Finance, a £400m sustainability-linked loan has been underwritten and given to Johnson Matthey, a London-based conglomerate company specialising in chemicals, batteries and sustainability technologies.
Johnson Matthey will use the loan to assist the development of sustainable productions such as hydrogen and chemicals recycling in a bid to unlock innovative measures to power homes and decarbonise transport. The company has committed to ensuring that 95% of its sales and R&D spend will contribute to sustainable projects by 2030.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said, “Investments in hydrogen technologies will blast domestic energy production higher than ever – securing the future supply of cleaner energy at home and helping us to export abroad. This will make for a healthier, wealthier future for the UK while protecting the planet.”
The financing is being provided by HSBC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Bank of America, with the government backing it via UK Export Finance.
Last year, Johnson Matthey set a 2040 net-zero target, with interim science-based targets to cut emissions filed for 2030.
More broadly on hydrogen, the funding is expected to help towards a national commitment of 5GW of green and blue hydrogen by 2030, issued by the Government as part of the Ten Point Plan. Up to £500m will be invested in a bid to create a Hydrogen Neighbourhood in 2023. a Hydrogen Village by 2025 and to create the first town running entirely on hydrogen.
Building on that commitment, the UK Government’s Hydrogen Strategy outlines plans to unlock £4bn of investment in blue and green generation, storage and usage this decade. The Strategy states that, in the best-case scenario, the UK’s hydrogen sector could grow to create 9,000 jobs and attract £4bn of private investment by 2030.
Reports have emerged that the impending Energy Security Strategy will see the Government look to double the 5GW. Sky News has reported that a new 10GW capacity target could be issued, consisting of 50% green hydrogen and 50% blue hydrogen that uses captured carbon.
The Government has outlined how a “twin-track” approach will be introduced to support multiple technologies, including green hydrogen – produced by splitting water using electrolysers powered with renewable energy – and blue hydrogen, produced by splitting natural gas and capturing most process emissions with man-made technologies. This approach has proven controversial among green groups, as carbon capture technology is in its relative infancy at a commercial scale. Moreover, blue hydrogen production facilities cannot easily be retrofitted to become green.
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