Nissan 'loves' being in Sunderland says Kwasi Kwarteng
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The Government has announced its delayed hydrogen strategy to “kick start a world-leading hydrogen economy” in Brexit Britain. Laying out the plans, Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said it will support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4billion worth of investment by 2030. It details how the UK will meet its ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production to use in heavy industry, transport and home heating over the next decade.
But some experts have blasted this scheme as billpayers could feel the economic burden of developing “pointless” technology.
Hydrogen can be made either using methane, with the emissions captured and stored, classed as “blue,” or through electrolysis, considered “green” if renewable electricity is used.
The gas will most likely be used in industries like shipping, steel making and fertiliser use – which will reportedly struggle to decarbonise.
As a result, the use of hydrogen for home heating is expected to be concentrated near industrial clusters and not for the general population.
Juliet Phillips, an energy expert at think tank E3G, said: “The risk is that gas payers end up paying for what’s used in a few industrial clusters.
“That doesn’t seem very fair or progressive.”
Sir John Armitt, chairman of the national infrastructure commission, said a carbon price on natural gas would be needed to incentivise its use across the economy.
He said: “The real challenge is that it’s likely to be more expensive than natural gas.”
Decisions over whether these hydrogen energy sources will replace gas boilers will be made by 2026.
But Government analysis suggests that 20-35 percent of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based, meaning the energy source could be critical to meet the Net-Zero target by 2050.
Mr Kwarteng said: Today marks the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution.
“This home-grown clean energy source has the potential to transform the way we power our lives and will be essential to tackling climate change and reaching Net-Zero.
“With the potential to provide a third of the UK’s energy in the future, our strategy positions the UK as first in the global race to ramp up hydrogen technology and seize the thousands of jobs and private investment that come with it.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan added: “Today’s Hydrogen Strategy sends a strong signal globally that we are committed to building a thriving low carbon hydrogen economy that could deliver hundreds of thousands of high-quality green jobs, helps millions of homes transition to green energy, support our key industrial heartlands to move away from fossil fuels and bring in significant investment.”
A booming UK-wide hydrogen economy is forecasted to be worth £900million and create over 9,000 high-quality jobs by 2030.
According to the Government, it could potentially rise to 100,000 jobs and worth up to £13 billion by 2050.
The Government is currently carrying out trials to prove the efficacy and safety of hydrogen as a like-for-like replacement for gas boilers and said it would make a decision by 2026.
This new strategy comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his Ten Point Plan for a “green industrial revolution” in the UK.
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