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UK to move away from colors in hydrogen strategy: BEIS director

Highlights

Hydrogen blending at 20% provides value

Export potential seen from Scotland

The UK's much anticipated hydrogen strategy will take on a colorless approach when it is released by the middle of this year, the country's deputy director of hydrogen strategy said in a May 25 panel.

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The UK's strategy around hydrogen production will not be blue or green, but will consider carbon intensity as the primary factor in market development, Rita Wadey, at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, said at the IDEA London Accelerating Net Zero: Hydrogen in the Energy Mix webinar.

Preliminary details of the UK's hydrogen strategy come from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which includes 5 GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 and 1 GW by 2025.

BEIS noted a significant amount of low carbon hydrogen - between 250-460 TWh) was needed by 2050 to meet Net Zero targets. Current volumes of mostly fossil-based hydrogen produce between 10-27 TWh, Wadey said. Getting there will involve a mix of both capital along ongoing revenue support, she added.

Additional value for hydrogen could come in the form of hydrogen for heat potential, drawing from current demonstration projects at Keele University blending up to 20% hydrogen into the gas grid, she said.

Other potential uses including shipping as well as manufacturing and construction, Wadey said.

Unlike the German hydrogen strategy, which focused on green hydrogen produced through electrolysis from renewables, the UK strategy would take a "twin-track approach", she said. "It would not be blue or green, but both. Blue gives us volume as well as investment."

In the long-term, BEIS sees electrolytic hydrogen as the dominant technology, and will include hydrogen produced from nuclear sources, Wadey said.

The UK could eventually become an exporter to countries including Germany, Wadey said.

"Our primary focus is on domestic demand, but in Scotland they are thinking about their potential to export. We have the potential to scale up fairly quickly."