united kingdom

Updated January 2020
Current Status 
Hydrogen Roadmap

Initiatives, Programs, and Policies

In July 2019, the UK published a consultation on Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage business models (policy frameworks), which included a section exploring the main challenges a business model for low carbon hydrogen production is seeking to address. We intend to consult on specific business models for hydrogen production during 2020. April 2019 In December 2018, the UK government launched a new mission under the Clean Growth Grand Challenge, which is set out in the 2017 Industrial Strategy. The new Clean Growth Mission is to establish the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low-carbon cluster by 2030. This mission will support the cost-effective decarbonisation of our industrial sector, which accounts for around a quarter of all UK GHG emissions. Up to £170M funding through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will support delivery of the Mission. Work to deliver the UK Government’s commitment to decarbonising heat is ongoing. In December 2018, the UK government published the report ‘ Clean Growth: Transforming Heating’ which invites views on priority areas to be taken forward over the next 2 – 5 years across government, industry and academia to inform strategic decisions on decarbonising heat in the first half of the next decade. Technologies that have the potential to play an important role include electric heat pumps, hydrogen conversion of gas grid, heat networks, hybrid heat pumps and biogas. In November 2018, the UK government also published a study on the ‘ Logistics of Domestic Hydrogen Conversion” which explores the logistical challenges associated with transitioning UK domestic properties from natural gas to hydrogen. In January 2019, the UK government published the strategy paper ‘ Maritime 2050: Navigating the Future’ which outlines the government’s vision and ambitions for the future of the British maritime sector. The paper details current use of hydrogen vessels in the UK. It also references the Clean Maritime Plan, due to be published in 2019, which will outline a number of medium term zero-emission shipping ambitions which could include hydrogen or ammonia powered vessels. In March 2019, the UK announced its Offshore Wind Sector Deal which builds on the UK’s global leadership position in offshore wind and seeks to maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth, consistent with the Clean Growth Grand Challenge. Legislative amendments that came into force in April 2018 mean that renewable hydrogen is now eligible for support under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO). In March 2019, the RTFO guidance was amended to ensure that the net GHG effects of hydrogen production are fully accounted for. The UK continues to participate in other international initiatives on hydrogen, including the recent Mission Innovation workshop, which took place in Antwerp in March 2019.

Research and Development

The UK government launched Phase II of the Industrial Fuel Switching competition and Phase I of the Hydrogen Supply competition during winter 2018/2019. A total of £40m has been allocated for these competitions. Around £7m of the funding was awarded for feasibility studies. Seven industrial fuel switching feasibility studies looked into developing technologies (TRL 4-7) to enable the use of a low carbon fuel, including hydrogen, for a particular industrial process or across an entire site, and 13 hydrogen supply feasibility studies looked to accelerate the development of low carbon bulk hydrogen supply solutions.

Demonstration, Deployments, and Workforce Developments

Phase III of the Industrial Fuel Switching competition and Phase II of the Hydrogen Supply competition launched during summer of 2019, seeking to fund demonstration projects up to the value of £7.5m per project.

As part of the UK Government’s £25M Hy4Heat programme to establish if it is technically possible, safe, and convenient to replace natural gas with hydrogen in residential and commercial buildings, 16 proposals were selected to develop a range of hydrogen fuelled boilers, cookers, gas fires and novel appliances. Hy4Heat is now planning to procure demonstration facilities to showcase these appliances at events and exhibitions.

Events and Solicitations

The UK is hosting the COP26 Summit from 9 November 2020 in Glasgow.

Investments and Funding

In August 2019, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced the £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund to support the commercial demonstration and deployment of low carbon hydrogen capacity.

BEIS also launched a call for evidence on our £250m Clean Steel Fund, which will support the UK steel sector on a pathway consistent with our new net zero target. April 2019 In January 2019, the UK government launched Storage at Scale: a £20M competition for demonstrating innovative large-scale energy storage solutions. Power-to-X technologies (for example power-to-gas) with a target minimum input power of 5 MW are in scope. The competition will support up to 3 demonstration projects with build completion by March 2021 and operational testing to be completed December 2021. In January 2019, the UK government also launched Phase II of the Industrial Fuel Switching competition, which will fund up to £300K for feasibility studies looking into developing technologies (TRL 4-7) to enable the use of a low carbon fuel, which can include hydrogen, for a particular industrial process or across an entire site. In February 2019, the UK government announced the winners of the 2018 Ultra-low emissions bus scheme competition, which provided funding for buses and infrastructure to local authorities and bus operators. £4.4M was awarded to Brighton and Hove to deploy 20 hydrogen buses and refuelling infrastructure. In February 2019, the UK Government also announced details of the second stage of its Hydrogen for Transport programme. It committed £14M funding to five projects which will serve to enhance and expand the UKs refuelling network and increase station utilisation with new vehicles. Collectively, these projects will lead to the creation of 5 additional hydrogen refuelling stations and deployment of 73 hydrogen cars and 33 hydrogen buses. In the 2018 Budget, the UK government announced it will invest £315M to a new Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, to support businesses with high energy use to transition to a low carbon future and reduce their bills through increased energy efficiency. In March 2019, the UK government launched a public consultation on the scope of the fund, which could include supporting technologies that are strategically important to long-term emissions reductions such as hydrogen. In April 2019, the UK government announced four smart energy systems demonstrator projects, which are part of the Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge and are supported by £102.5M from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Two projects reference hydrogen technologies. ReFlex Orkney is a £28.5M project will demonstrate a first-of-its-kind Virtual Energy System (VES) interlinking local electricity, transport, and heat networks into one controllable, overarching system. The project aims to create a ‘smart energy island’, demonstrating the energy system of the future, which will reduce and eventually eliminate the need for fossil fuels. Technologies that might be rolled-out as part of the project include domestic batteries for homes, larger batteries for businesses and public buildings, vehicle to grid chargers, electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, and smart heating systems. Smart Hubs SLES will integrate energy management across council housing, private residential properties, transport infrastructure and commercial properties. The project will deploy a number of innovative technologies (a hybrid hydrogen/electric vehicle filling station and mesh networks for power management) alongside more established but not widely deployed technologies such as heat networks. A Virtual Power Plant will be established by integrating several platforms that can dynamically monitor and respond to energy demand and generation.

Regulations, Codes & Standards, and Safety

No new developments to report in this period.


April 2019

Member Statements

Last updated January 2020 United Kingdom Statement (PDF); 32nd Steering Committee Meeting; Seoul, Republic of Korea; Oct 21-25, 2019 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 411KB); 31st Steering Committee Meeting; Vienna, Austria; April 9-12, 2019 United Kingdom Statement (PDF); 30th Steering Committee Meeting; Pretoria, South Africa; Dec 6, 2018 United Kingdom Statement (PDF); 29th Steering Committee Meeting; Kobe, Japan; May 8 - 11, 2018 United Kingdom Statement (PDF); 26th Steering Committee Meeting; Gwangju, Republic of Korea; November 1-4, 2016 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 231KB); 25th Steering Committee Meeting; Berkeley, CA, USA; May 17-20, 2016 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 177KB); 22nd Steering Committee Meeting; Rome, Italy; 2-3 December 2014 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 242KB); 21st Steering Committee Meeting; Oslo, Norway; 19-21 May 2014 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 440KB); 19th Steering Committee Meeting; London, United Kingdom; 23-24 May 2013 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 179KB); 18th Steering Committee Meeting; Seville, Spain; 14 November 2012 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 321KB); 17th Steering Committee Meeting; Cape Town, South Africa; 3-4 May 2012 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 484MB); 14th Steering Committee Meeting; Shanghai, China; 21-22 September 2010 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 47KB); Steering Committee Meeting; Moscow, Russia; 21-23 April 2008 United Kingdom Statement (PDF 17KB); Implementation-Liaison Committee; Reisensburg, Germany; 26 February 2004 Ministerial Statement (PDF 85KB); IPHE Inaugural Ministerial Meeting; Washington, D.C.; 20 Nov 2003 Contact: James Dobing | james.dobing@beis.gov.uk

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