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UK boosts funding for clean hydrogen production projects


Support for HyNet, Acorn, HyPER blue hydrogen

Boost for Gigastack, Dolphyn green hydrogen

Fuel switching in industry also supported

London — The UK government has announced GBP28 million ($36.50 million) of funding for hydrogen projects as part of a GBP90 million carbon abatement program, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said Tuesday.

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The program includes three "blue hydrogen" projects using natural gas to produce hydrogen, capturing or sequestering carbon in the process, and two "green hydrogen" projects using renewable electricity and water to produce hydrogen via electrolysis.

Related infographic: Sustainable hydrogen: blue and green pathways to decarbonisation

HyNet at Ellesmere Port is to receive GBP7.48 million. The project is to reform natural gas into hydrogen at Stanlow Refinery, using carbon capture, use and storage to turn conventional hydrogen into blue hydrogen.

The project is being led by Progressive Energy Limited, in collaboration with Johnson Matthey, SNC Lavalin and Essar Oil.

In Scotland, Pale Blue Dot Energy's Acorn project is receiving GBP2.7 million. This is also focused on reforming natural gas at the St Fergus gas terminal, capturing CO2 to create blue hydrogen. Acorn would then build a CO2 pipeline and shipping infrastructure to and from its St Fergus and Peterhead base.

Cranfield University's HyPER project (Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming) receives GBP7.5 million to support a 1.5 MW thermal pilot plant at the university in Bedfordshire with partners GTI and Doosan Babcock. Again, this project uses natural gas as a feedstock.

Meanwhile Gigastack (ITM, Orsted, Phillips 66, Element Energy) receives GBP7.5 million to convert offshore wind off the Grimsby coast to green hydrogen, while Dolphyn (Environmental Resources Management) receives GBP3.12 million for its 2 MW floating wind prototype combining an offshore wind turbine with seawater desalination and an electrolyser.

"Cleaning up emissions from industry and housing is a big challenge but today's GBP90 million investment will set us on the right path as we develop clean technologies like hydrogen," said Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng.

The government would also fund projects to trial technologies for switching industrial production from fossil fuels to renewables in cement and glass production.

Some GBP20 million of the funds, meanwhile, would be used to fund projects cutting household emissions through nine local "smart energy" projects. This aims for 250,000 households powered by local renewable sources by 2030.

In Rugeley near Stafford, for instance, the town's old coal-fired power station is to be demolished and turned into a "sustainable village" of 2,300 homes.

"Residents will benefit from thermal storage units instead of traditional gas boilers, enabling them to draw, store and heat their homes with geothermal energy from local canals and disused mine shafts," BEIS said.

In Coleraine, Northern Ireland, a micro-grid of nearly 100 homes is to be powered by local wind power.


Hydrogen projects
Leading body
Funding (GBP million)
Dolphyn Project
Environmental Resources Management Ltd
Progressive Energy Limited, in collaboration with Johnson Matthey, SNC Lavalin and Essar Oil
ITM Power Trading Ltd, in collaboration with Orsted, Phillips 66 and Element Energy
Project Pale Blue Dot Energy
Cranfield University, in collaboration with Gas Technology Institute and Doosan
Fuel switching projects
Progressive Energy Ltd, in collaboration with Pilkington, Unilever and Essar
Hydrogen Alternatives to Gas for Calcium Lime Manufacturing
British Lime Association
Switching fuels for cement production
Mineral Products Association
Switching Technologies for the Glass Sector
Glass Futures Ltd and partners

Source: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Town / City
West Midlands Regional Energy System Operator
Coleraine, Causeway Coast and Glens
Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure
Green Smart Community Integrated Energy Systems 2
Islington (London)
Zero Carbon Rugeley
GM Local Energy Market
Greater Manchester
Project REMeDY
Energy Kingdom
Milford Haven
Multi-vector Energy Exchange
Source: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy