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UK Hydrogen Week highlights green hydrogen investments

1st March 2024

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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Following its inauguration last year, UK Hydrogen Week is taking place once again, from February 26 to March 3.

The World Platinum Investment Council says more than 6 300 individuals and 110 partners and supporters will be participating in the initiative, which aims to bring together stakeholders from across the UK to highlight the role of hydrogen in reaching the UK’s net-zero targets.

The UK government has committed to having 6 GW of domestic green hydrogen production capacity by 2030, saying that it presents a significant economic opportunity and has the potential to create more than 12 000 jobs and up to £11-billion of investment in-country by 2030.

Electrocatalysts containing platinum and iridium are used in proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis, one of the leading technologies for making hydrogen. When a PEM electrolyser is powered using renewable electricity, thereby creating green hydrogen, it results in a carbon-free energy carrier that is increasingly viewed as essential to the energy transition.

In December last year, the UK government announced about £2-billion in revenue support for 11 projects to produce 125 MW of green hydrogen. It also confirmed that suppliers would receive a guaranteed price from the government for the clean energy they supply.

In parallel, more than £90-milion from the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, which is a £240-milion government programme aimed at the commercial deployment of hydrogen production projects across the UK, has been allocated to support the construction of these projects.

This announcement followed the successful conclusion of the government’s first electrolytic hydrogen allocation round (HAR1) under its Hydrogen Production Business Model. The model is a mechanism intended to incentivise the production and use of low carbon hydrogen through the provision of revenue support to overcome the cost gap between low carbon hydrogen and higher-carbon fuels.

The second Hydrogen Allocation Round (HAR2) is now open to applicants, with further rounds expected in 2025 and 2026.

Successful HAR1 applicants include EDF Renewables’ Tees Green Hydrogen project on Teesside. This project proposes to produce an initial 7.5 MW of green hydrogen using electrolysis powered by electricity from EDF’s renewables portfolio. First production is expected in 2026.

A further recipient is the Cromarty Hydrogen project, which is being jointly developed by Scottish Power and Storegga to decarbonise Scotland’s whisky industry. First production is also expected in 2026, with Cromarty Hydrogen’s Phase 1 having a 10.6 MW production capacity, producing nearly 5 500 kg of green hydrogen every day using 100% renewable power.

Long-term production, through future phases, has the potential to rise to more than 100 000 kg a day, for delivery to distilleries and other industrial and transport sectors throughout the Inverness and Cromarty Firth region.

Outside of HAR1, other UK organisations are also investing in green hydrogen to support decarbonisation goals. For example, also on Teesside, Protium is developing almost 70 MW of PEM electrolyser capacity.

Meanwhile, the University of Sheffield is set to produce more green hydrogen than any other UK research centre, having recently installed a PEM electrolyser from IMI Critical Engineering to enable its researchers to work with industry to produce, develop and test new hydrogen fuels.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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