NPL on why hydrogen is yet to see wholesale commercial uptake in the UK

Hydrogen in the UK is beginning to shift from hypothetical debates to practical demonstration projects. An ever-growing evidence base has demonstrated how the costs of hydrogen and its barriers to entry are reducing, such that it now has practical potential to contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK’s energy sector.

A future where the world makes use of hydrogen power would look different, but not that different. Much of the gas infrastructure, for example, could be repurposed in a green manner, and in vehicles, one alternative to fossil fuel engines would be hydrogen fuel cells.

Despite all of this, hydrogen has yet to have wide commercial uptake, due in part to a number of barriers where measurement plays a critical role. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the UK’s authority on measurement, testing and standards for hydrogen technologies and is supporting the large-scale roll-out of hydrogen vehicles, refuelling stations and further infrastructure in order to move towards the country’s net zero targets. NPL has done significant work identifying why hydrogen is yet to see wholesale commercial uptake, and what barriers need to be overcome here.

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