The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) has called for UK Government action to embrace Nuclear Enabled Hydrogen (NEH) when delivering on Net Zero goals.
A position paper, released on Tuesday (June 7) by the UK HFCA urged the Government to support NEH with legislation, financial backing, as well as more nuclear sites to aid the nation’s race to Net Zero.
The report titled, The Role of Nuclear Enabled Hydrogen in Delivery Net Zero, revealed how one nuclear power plant has the potential to generate enough hydrogen to decarbonise heating in one million homes, or fuel 40,000 hydrogen buses.
It also stressed, NEH has potential to play a key role in meeting the UK’s low carbon hydrogen production target of 10GW by 2030.
Celia Greaves, founder and CEO of the UK HFCA, said, “3GW of nuclear power with today’s technology could produce enough hydrogen to meet 22.5% of this new target.
“And in light of the recently updated targets for UK nuclear power, with plans now for 24GW to be online by 2050, decisive early action is key.
“With projects reaching final investment decision each year until 2030, the role of NEH in these proposed plant operations must be considered today and decided on in the near future.”
In its British Energy Security Strategy, published in April this year (2022), the UK Government highlighted its increased ambitions across nuclear and hydrogen.
Marcus Newborough, Development Director at ITM Power, a member of the UK HFCA explained, “Net Zero solutions require hydrogen to be produced with a zero greenhouse gas footprint, which means electrolyser operators will need to source their electricity from renewables and/or nuclear power.
“Electrolysis can provide the flexibility required to solve this challenge by absorbing nuclear electricity at times of high renewables generation, or vice versa.
“In addition, it can provide the means for matching nuclear power generation to the steady-state demand for hydrogen that characterises several of our essential chemical processes, such as ammonia and methanol production. “NEH can therefore play an underpinning role in achieving Zet – Zero, both for the electricity grid and for industrial clusters.”
Nuclear powered hydrogen has been supported by the wider industry for some time. In April 2021, H2 View were told by Pinakin Patel, President of T2M Global, that nuclear plants ‘absolutely’ have an important role to play in hydrogen production.
Patel said, “Nuclear power plants can be a critical driver of more abundant clean power and the lower hydrogen production costs that will ultimately accelerate the adoption of hydrogen as a clean fuel to sustainably power a growing global economy.”
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