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UK government launches plan for a world-leading hydrogen economy

19 Aug 2021

First-ever vision to kick start world-leading hydrogen economy set to support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4 billion investment by 2030.

Tens of thousands of jobs, billions of pounds in investment and new export opportunities will be unlocked through government plans to create a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK over the next decade and beyond, the Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has set out today (17 August).

The UK’s first-ever Hydrogen Strategy drives forward the commitments laid out in the Prime Minister’s ambitious 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution by setting the foundation for how the UK government will work with industry to meet its ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 – the equivalent of replacing natural gas in powering around 3 million UK homes each year as well as powering transport and businesses, particularly heavy industry.

A booming, UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900 million and create over 9,000 high-quality jobs by 2030, potentially rising to 100,000 jobs and worth up to £13 billion by 2050. By 2030, hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonising polluting, energy-intensive industries like chemicals, oil refineries, power and heavy transport like shipping, HGV lorries and trains.

With government analysis suggesting that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based, this new energy source could be critical to meet our targets of net zero emissions by 2050 and cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 – a view shared by the UK’s independent Climate Change Committee.

The government’s approach is based on the UK’s previous success with offshore wind, where early government action coupled with strong private sector backing has earned the UK a world leading status.

The UK government is already working with the Health and Safety Executive and energy regulator Ofgem to support industry to conduct first-of-a-kind hydrogen heating trials. These trials along with the results of a wider research and development testing programme will inform a UK government decision in 2026 on the role of hydrogen in decarbonising heat.

Further information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-launches-plan-for-a-world-leading-hydrogen-economy

Ten Point Plan:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-outlines-his-ten-point-plan-for-a-green-industrial-revolution-for-250000-jobs