• Blue hydrogen essential to net zero ambitions: UK Lobby
• CSIRO launches program for global hydrogen collaboration


Hydrogen lobby wants UK to go blue

Is blue hydrogen essential to get to net zero?

If you’re a regular reader of this column you’ll know the debate by now.

It’s a claim that will face criticism from dyed in the wool proponents of pure green hydrogen.

A new report from British lobby group the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association has called on the government there to set targets for blue hydrogen adoption as aggressive as its green counterpart.

They say the UK could deploy 10GW of blue hydrogen (hydrogen produced with traditional, non-renewable fuel sources and carbon capture and storage) by 2030, and 80GW by 2050.

“Blue hydrogen is essential to the UK’s transition to low carbon energy as part of the 2050 net zero targets,” the report’s executive summary states.

“The potential for low carbon hydrogen is particularly high in industrial processes and in hard to abate sectors, especially heavy-duty vehicles, shipping, heating, aviation and energy storage.”

They have also called on the UK Government to develop a certification scheme and standards for hydrogen projects, something already in train in Australia with the launch of a discussion paper in June.

The UK’s upcoming hydrogen strategy will reportedly remove colour classifications and shift to a focus on “emissions intensity”.

The UK Government pumped $238 million into studies for nine projects largely focused on hydrogen with CCS across country, with Tory energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan appearing to publicly endorse the UKHFCA report in comments on its release.

It would not be surprising to learn that many of the members of UKHFCA are big industrial emitters like Anglo American and BP, alongside a host of energy, mining, industrial, hydrogen specialist and renewables firms.

BP is the proponent of what would be the biggest gas plus CCS hydrogen project in the country, a proposed development on the North East Coast that would produce 150,000tpa of hydrogen by 2030 if approved.

It is a matter that is not without debate, with green groups accusing fossil fuel companies of wielding their support for hydrogen to preserve the value of their existing assets in the face of emissions reduction targets.

The counter argument is that low emissions forms of hydrogen production must be supported to build the market given the long timeframes expected to develop a green hydrogen industry of any scale.


CSIRO seeking international colabs for hydrogen

Speaking of hydrogen, the CSIRO has been handed a $5 million kitty to pursue international research link-ups.

The aim is tied in the with Federal Government’s stated target of getting the price of producing hydrogen down to $2/kg, a price at which it says the technology would be competitive with alternatives like coal and gas.

The exercise in hydrogen fuel diplomacy will see the national science agency lead a two year collaboration program within its new Hydrogen Industry Mission.

“Our Hydrogen Industry Mission recognises that, as the global investment in clean energy ramps up, we need to be on the front foot and leverage international collaboration in hydrogen RD&D to give Australia the best advantage we can to capture this market opportunity,” CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall said.