Latest News on the UK Hydrogen Economy - 17/11/20


Ames Goldsmith Ceimig, as a manufacturer of catalysts such as Iridium Oxide, Iridium Ruthenium Oxide, Iridium Black, Platinum Black & Platinum on Carbon support, are strong supports of the emerging Hydrogen Economy and supply many manufacturers of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology including PEM Electrolysers and PEM Fuel Cells.

In the UK we are members of the UKHFCA & SHFCA. Here are some of the recent developments in Hydrogen happening in the UK and affecting the Hydrogen Economy more broadly:

EASAC makes 15 recommendations for Green H2 deployment: weblink

The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) recently released their Hydrogen and Synthetic Fuels position paper which includes 15 key points for policy-makers that can support the wider implementation of the EU hydrogen strategy and production of green hydrogen at scale. This EASAC position paper proposes a phased approach to the sustainable development, production and use of renewable hydrogen which should start now.

Strong governance of the emerging renewable hydrogen sector and the removal of market barriers in the EU will be required. Targeted investments in decentralised electrolysers should focus on further cost reductions, together with the supply of renewable hydrogen into sustainable local markets and networks. This EASAC position paper makes 15 recommendations for policy-makers:

1. Urgently increase the generation of renewable electricity, which should be used directly where possible, and is essential for large-scale renewable hydrogen production.

2. Remove subsidies, taxes, levies and other incentives for fossil fuels, which continue to distort energy markets and limit the potential growth of markets for renewable hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

3. Include independent experts beyond the Clean Hydrogen Alliance in the work to identify and develop measures for removing market barriers.

4. Strengthen carbon pricing by revising the Emissions Trading System Directive to stimulate markets for renewable hydrogen and hydrogen-derived synthetic fuels.

5. Introduce new regulations will be required in addition to the existing Emissions Trading System to accelerate change from fossil to renewable hydrogen in chemical and other industries, including steel production.

6. Build investor confidence by supporting stakeholders working together in local hydrogen networks across EU member states, and including industry, civil society, and the science community.

7. Promote sustainable development of hydrogen markets, beginning with local or regional networks close to renewable electricity supplies, hydrogen production plants and hydrogen consumption centres.

8. Establish strong links for coordination of governance structures between EU, national, regional and local levels.

9. Secure supplies of renewable hydrogen from outside the EU in addition to EU production, by establishing international partnerships and trade cooperation with interested third countries as well as with EU neighbours.

10. Promote investments in renewable hydrogen and hydrogen-derived synthetic fuels, with a focus on minimizing the energy invested, as well as accounting for the overall life-cycle costs per unit of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

11. Encourage investment in renewable hydrogen by promoting the EU taxonomy with its disclosure obligations for environmentally sustainable economic activities.

12. Establish standards for hydrogen production based on life-cycle greenhouse gas performance,

and certification of low-carbon hydrogen to use with the EU Sustainable Investment Taxonomy.

13. Support the rapid development of electrolysers, prioritising those with falling costs and fast diffusion and learning curves, to accelerate hydrogen production.

14. Prohibit the use of whole trees for producing renewable hydrogen by using sustainability criteria that limit carbon payback times to less than 10 years.

15. Support research, market studies and demand-driven initiatives on hydrogen infrastructure at local, national and international level, and on certification and standards

Iberdrola €75 billion investment by 2025 with 600MW green H2: weblink

In early November the CEO of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, announced their €75 billion investment plan to 2025. Iberdola own a number of energy companies around the world, including ScottishPower, and are leaders in the wind power industry.

This massive investment in renewable energy is aimed at boosting the industrial fabric and jobs in the countries where the group operates, and positions Iberdrola as a key player in the transition to a low carbon economy. The United States and the United Kingdom account for €34 billion of their investment plan.

INEOS launches hydrogen business: weblink

Petrochemicals giant INEOS on 9th November launched a new clean hydrogen business to accelerate the drive to net zero carbon emissions.

Headquartered in the UK, the new business aims to build capacity to produce hydrogen across the INOES network of sites in Europe, in addition to partner sites where hydrogen can accelerate decarbonisation of energy.

Glasgow to get fleet of 19 hydrogen-powered refuse trucks: weblink

Glasgow is to get a fleet of 19 hydrogen-powered refuse trucks following the announcement of £6.3m in UK government funding. The investment will also include the building of a green refuelling station in the city.

First UK homes heated with hydrogen: weblink

The homes are playing a central role in a multi-million-dollar project researching and proving the safety of converting homes and gas networks to hydrogen.

Located at DNV GL’s Spadeadam, Northumberland Testing and Research facility, the three homes have been specifically designed and built for a project called ‘HyStreet’, conducting safety testing for both H21 and the UK Government’s Hy4Heat programme.

Boiler manufacturers Baxi Heating and Worcester Bosch recently installed hydrogen burning combi boilers into the houses, and they have been successfully providing heating and hot water.

British businesses call on PM Boris Johnson to back hydrogen: weblink


British businesses which have pledged to plough £3bn into the emerging UK hydrogen sector have called on Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson to give his full backing to the sector.

With the PM widely expected to reveal his Net Zero commitment in the coming days, bosses from 54 leading businesses, including Air Products UK, Alstom, Bosch, ITM Power, JCB and Siemens, are urging him to ensure hydrogen plays a key part in the UK’s plans.

Bramble Energy using FCEV for day-to-day business: weblink

Bramble Energy is using a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) for its day-to-day business in a bid to demonstrate how hydrogen fuel cells can be used effectively in real life applications.

IGas and BayoTech to develop hydrogen generation systems: weblink

UK oil and gas firm IGas Energy has partnered with US on-site hydrogen generation specialist BayoTech to develop modular hydrogen generation systems for the UK market.

Snam buys minority stake in ITM Power in bid to develop green hydrogen technologies: weblink

Snam will buy a minority stake in British energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power in a bid to develop its green hydrogen technology, the Italian energy infrastructure company said on Thursday (22nd Oct).

Another EMEC first with flow batteries for green tidal H2: weblink

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) have today unveiled the next stage of development using flow batteries at their tidal energy test site on the island of Eday in Orkney. A world-first project funded by the Scottish Government, via Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), will combine flow battery technology with tidal power to produce continuous green hydrogen.

FCEV driver perspective - UK: weblink

There’s a classic “chicken and egg” situation going on the UK at the moment related to hydrogen stations and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). To get more FCEVs on UK roads, there needs to be more hydrogen stations. But with so few stations currently deployed across the UK – 12 in total – uptake of FCEVs has been slow.