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Scottish Affairs Committee publishes Government response to hydrogen and carbon capture report

8 June 2023

The Scottish Affairs Committee today publishes the Government’s response to its Hydrogen and Carbon Capture report.

In its response, the UK Government swerves the Committee’s recommendation to set interim targets for hydrogen production to reach its 2050 net zero target. 

While the Government discusses its work on the international trade of hydrogen, and agrees with the Committee on the potential economic benefits, it does not outline the timeframe for securing an export market, or how it plans to make hydrogen exports more commercially attractive to international investors.

In the report, the cross-party Committee of MPs warned the UK will fail to meet its net zero targets and transition away from fossil fuels unless carbon capture is rolled out at scale.  In response, the UK Government agrees with the Committee on the importance of hydrogen storage in enhancing energy security.

Since the publication of the report the UK Government has announced a £20 billion funding package at the Spring Budget on 15 March; and, the Track-2 of CCUS sequencing was launched by the UK Government on 30 March.

Chair's Comment

Scottish Affairs Committee Chair, Pete Wishart MP, said:

“Net zero is a pipe dream without effective carbon capture technology. While it’s reassuring that the UK Government agrees that more effective and coordinated action is required between the UK and the Scottish Governments, both Governments need to work more effectively and constructively with industry.”

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has thrown the UK’s energy security into focus, making it clear more needs to be done to build robust storage for hydrogen in Scotland. We thank the Government for their response and will continue to keep a close eye on this important area.”

The Committee’s report included the following key conclusions and recommendations:

  • UK and Scottish Governments work together to meet the targets set on hydrogen production and include interim targets
  • The UK Government should make timely decisions about Track-2 cluster sequencing. 
  • The UK Government should accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies across Scotland.
  • The export of hydrogen should be being explored at pace to ensure that the UK does not get left behind international developments
  • The storage of hydrogen is prioritised and it is deemed a national asset as it can assist in the energy security of the whole of the UK
  • The UK and Scottish Governments work together on ensuring the skills are in place for establishing a strong hydrogen economy
  • Hydrogen ready boilers should be mandated by the end of the next Parliamentary session.

Further information

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