Energy crisis has led UK to 'foothills of recession' says expert

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As countries look to end their reliance on fossil fuels, particularly those imported from Russia, hydrogen has been tipped to be the next biggest low-carbon solution. While hydrogen can effectively replace natural gas in many uses, the process as it exists now is not efficient and is expensive, making it difficult to scale to mass production. This has led companies to begin looking for new ways to make hydrogen power more cost-effective.

No10 is doing its part to accelerate this race to harness energy, with the help of a £60million competition that will support innovation in the supply of hydrogen, making new super-fuel more viable.

The HySupply 2 competition looks to position Britain as global leader in this emerging industry, boosting long-term growth and helping produce more clean, affordable, homegrown energy.

The Government has already awarded funding to 28 projects across the UK, including Scotland, Wales and the north of England, which they believe will accelerate an industry expected to create around 12,000 jobs.

ITM Power based in Yorkshire has been awarded the largest share at more than £9.2 million to build a next-generation 5MW electrolyser stack.

An electrolyser stack is an industrial tool that separates hydrogen from oxygen in a vat of water using electricity.

By building on their findings from the Government’s first Hydrogen Supply programme, ITM aims to bring the lowest-cost green hydrogen solution to the market.

Cadent Gas Limited in the West Midlands, is set to receive £296,174 for feasibility work that will focus on how to purify hydrogen that has been through the gas grid to make it suitable for use in vehicles like lorries.

Another major winner in this scheme is the National Nuclear Laboratory in Cumbria, which will receive £242,619 to review and model processes that can use the heat from nuclear reactors to produce hydrogen.

In the Government’s Energy Security that was published last month, the UK committed to accelerating the country’s hydrogen capacity up to 10 GW by 2030.

This could create around 12,000 jobs across the UK as well as increasing domestic energy supply, making the UK less dependent on importing expensive fossil fuels in the future.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The British Energy Security Strategy made clear that we are backing hydrogen not just as a viable source of clean, affordable homegrown energy but as an emerging industry of the future in which the UK can lead the world.

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“This funding will accelerate the development of this exciting new industry, helping position us as a hydrogen superpower on the global stage.”

This competition is part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, a fund to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies, systems and business models.

A study commissioned by BEIS in 2018 demonstrated that innovation in the hydrogen production process could reduce the cost of producing hydrogen considerably. Funding from HySupply 2 will help industry players to realise this goal.

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