The developing role of hydrogen in the UK energy mix

Hydrogen’s role in decarbonising the economy will most likely be in backing up the electricity grid in industry, in shipping and in some heavy land transport, James Richardson, Chief Economist at National Infrastructure Commission told a Westminster Energy Environment & Transport Forum virtual event today (May 26).

Looking at growing the hydrogen economy in the UK, Richardson kicked the event off with a keynote discussing the developing role of hydrogen in the UK energy mix.

“Some people argue that hydrogen will be so expensive you should only use it if you absolutely can’t electrify. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that; fuel costs aren’t everything, capital costs matter too, and the cost of electricity isn’t fixed, it varies across time and space,” Richardson said.

“We’ve made more progress using decarbonised electricity than anything else, but it [electricity] can’t do everything; you can’t electrify a container ship, a transatlantic flight or some industrial processes, nor can you attach carbon capture and storage to a ship or a plane.

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