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How can hydrogen contribute to Net Zero? MPs launch inquiry

7 December 2020

A key component of the Government's recently announced ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’ is 'Driving the Growth of Low Carbon Hydrogen'. The plan outlined a range of measures to support the development and adoption of hydrogen, including a £240 million 'Net Zero Hydrogen Fund'. Noting this, and the further £81 million allocated for hydrogen heating trials in the 2020 Spending Review, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is today launching a new inquiry into the role of hydrogen in achieving Net Zero.

Following recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change that the Government develop a strategy for hydrogen use and should aim for largescale hydrogen trials to begin in the early 2020s, the Committee seeks to ensure that the Government's intended plan will be suitable and effective. The Committee will also assess the infrastructure required for hydrogen as a Net Zero fuel, and examine progress made so far internationally to determine the viability of hydrogen as a significant contributor to achieving Net Zero.

Chair's comments

Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, said:

"Hydrogen may have a big role to play in achieving Net Zero. Its potential provides an important opportunity for UK science and industry to develop and apply the technologies that will support its use—from the production of hydrogen without contributing to CO2 emissions to its use across the economy.  Our inquiry will establish what needs to be done for the UK to play a leading global role in the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies, making use of our strengths and depth of experience in science, engineering and innovation."

The Committee is seeking written submissions by Friday 8 January addressing any or all of the following topics:

  1. The suitability of the Government’s announced plans for “Driving the Growth of Low Carbon Hydrogen”, including:
  • the focus, scale and timescales of the proposed measures;
  • how the proposed measures—and any other recommended measures—could best be co-ordinated;
  • the dependency of the Government’s proposed plans on carbon capture and storage, any risks associated with this and how any risks should be mitigated; and
  • potential business models that could attract private investment and stimulate widespread adoption of hydrogen as a Net Zero fuel;
  1. The progress of recent and ongoing trials of hydrogen in the UK and abroad, and the next steps to most effectively build on this progress;
  2. The engineering and commercial challenges associated with using hydrogen as a fuel, including production, storage, distribution and metrology, and how the Government could best address these;
  3. The infrastructure that hydrogen as a Net Zero fuel will require in the short- and longer-term, and any associated risks and opportunities;
  4. Cost-benefit analysis of using hydrogen to meet Net Zero as well as the potential environmental impact of technologies required for its widespread use; and
  5. The relative advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen compared to other low-carbon options (such as electrification or heat networks), the applications for which hydrogen should be prioritised and why, and how any uncertainty in the optimal technology should be managed.

The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. The Committee encourages members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.

Further information

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