London — The UK government should raise its renewables targets, including 30 GW of onshore wind and 5 GW of electrolyzer capacity to produce green hydrogen, to set a world-leading example ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference summit it is hosting in November, RenewableUK said May 7.
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The UK currently has a target of 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, and a capacity target of 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen, which includes blue hydrogen produced by steam methane reforming plus carbon capture and storage.
Current UK onshore wind capacity is 13.7 GW, with just 1.4 GW under construction and 4.7 GW consented, data from RenewableUK showed.
But RenewableUK said in a report published May 7 that 30 GW was achievable, "given the current pipeline of projects in the UK."
"We should 'lead by example' on onshore wind and encourage other countries to establish a target for development by setting our own," the report said. "Even with the increasing success of offshore wind, the majority of wind installations across the world are onshore and are expected to continue be so in the 2030s."
The report called for the UK government to raise its renewable hydrogen ambition and set a target of 5 GW of green hydrogen capacity by 2030 and 10 GW by 2035 in its forthcoming hydrogen strategy.
This should be "coupled with supply-side measures and a revenue support mechanism for hydrogen production," RenewableUK added.
The UK's current target includes blue hydrogen, which still emits some CO2, even with CCS technology in place. The Scottish government has set a separate target of 5 GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
Platts assessed the cost of producing hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis in the UK (including capex) at GBP4.22/kg ($5.88/kg) May 6. PEM electrolysis production was assessed at GBP5.26/kg, while blue hydrogen production by autothermal reforming was GBP1.64/kg (including capex and carbon).
RenewableUK said the UK could become a significant exporter of offshore renewable hydrogen to continental Europe, as well as a leading electrolyzer manufacturer.
The report also said the UK should double its floating offshore wind capacity target to 2 GW by 2030, and set a target of 1 GW of marine energy.
To achieve these goals, RenewableUK said the government should address barriers to growth, such as reforming the planning system; reform regulator Ofgem's remit to take into account net-zero carbon targets; unlock a 16-GW pipeline of energy storage to provide flexibility, and make long-term commitments to decarbonizing other sectors to encourage low-carbon energy investment.