As we edge closer towards the government’s mini-budget in July that will set out its economic recovery plans form Covid-19, the energy sector is turning up the volume on the role that hydrogen should play as part of that. And that includes Energy Networks Association through its Gas Goes Green programme.
We’ve seen a spate of major commitments from the German, Portuguese and Dutch governments in the last few weeks as part of their own responses, all making clear their ambitions to develop their own hydrogen potential. Now is the time to ensure that here in the UK, we’re not left behind.
We are in a strong starting position in many respects. Not only has the UK taken an early leadership position, but the very fundamentals of our gas grid provide a strong basis on which we can act on to build the world’s first zero carbon gas grid. 85% of properties are connected to 284,000 km of gas pipelines in Great Britain, making it one of the most extensive in the world. We are now one of the world’s superpowers of renewable energy, with a leading offshore wind sector that has ambitious growth targets which create huge opportunities for green hydrogen production. And the liquidity of our gas markets mean we stand in good stead to take advantage of hydrogen export opportunities when they arise.
What’s important is that the government’s economic response to Covid-19 capitalises on that, by investing to address the technical and operational questions associated with building a hydrogen economy. The best response to those questions is not to simply prevaricate in answering them, but to seize the opportunity to do so.
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