UK Hydrogen Strategy: Industry reaction

UK Hydrogen Strategy: Industry reaction

The industry has been having its say on this week’s announcement of the government’s Hydrogen Strategy, which sets out the approach to developing a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK to meet the ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. Below is a selection of the reactions:

Mark Wilkins, Vaillant
“[The] long-awaited Hydrogen Strategy is welcomed by the heating industry, with green gas playing an important role in decarbonising heat in buildings and achieving the UK’s net zero targets. The introduction of up to 20% hydrogen gas into the wider natural gas network is a positive first step to begin the UK’s hydrogen journey and this strategy provides key milestones to build the network progressively up to 100% hydrogen. Currently, there are 26 million homes in the UK, so during this decade trials and testing are fundamental to achieve our decarbonisation goals. The 2030s will begin wider roll outs and further trials but as outlined in the strategy the hydrogen transition may take several decades. At Vaillant we fully support hydrogen as a heating solution and are developing hydrogen-ready appliances ahead of the Government’s strategic decision on the role of hydrogen for home heating to be taken by 2026.

“The fact remains that climate change is happening now, and at Vaillant, we believe there will be no silver bullet solution and there will be a mix of technologies needed to help reduce emissions. Heat pumps are a tried and tested alternative low carbon heating solution that is available today. Whilst we are working with the industry to bring hydrogen solutions for home heating, homeowners, installers and housebuilders should look to start their decarbonisation journey with heat pumps. We are eager to see more clarity on heat pump funding and hydrogen within the long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy in September. We look forward to continuing to support the Government in achieving the UK’s ambitious net zero targets.”

Carl Arntzen, Worcester Bosch
“We are delighted to see the publication of the much awaited Hydrogen Strategy paper. Like many in the heating industry, we have been waiting in anticipation for this strategy to be released, to give some valuable clarity and indication of the support for the future of hydrogen.

“It is clear from [the] announcement that the trials and research in this area have helped open the route for a hydrogen future, to which we are excited to keep exploring.

“With that in mind, we are optimistic that we will see hydrogen-ready boilers, such as the one from Worcester Bosch, feature prominently in this Autumn’s Heat and Buildings Strategy particularly following the recent price-promise made by the four leading boiler manufacturers.

“We will continue to work with industry and wider parties, as we further conduct trials into hydrogen heating and push for a positive Government decision in favour of the technology in 2026.”

Jeff House, Baxi Heating
“The energy transition is upon us and we are shifting today’s energy use to low and zero carbon sources.  The way in which we heat and provide hot water to our homes and businesses will change, and we are developing technologies that will support this transition.  A bold and pragmatic policy framework will encourage investment and drive change.

“We therefore welcome [the] publication of the Hydrogen Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  This important document details the role and vision for clean hydrogen deployment at scale in the UK, building upon the ambitions in last year’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

“As an energy carrier, hydrogen has many uses that will help to decarbonise heating, transport and industry.  We therefore welcome the government’s assurance to the the public today that hydrogen can be made as safe as natural gas.

“Alongside the Strategy, the Government is publishing its proposed business model for supporting hydrogen production in the form of a Contract for Difference.  This approach has been utilised successfully for offshore wind and will enable the sector to invest in early-stage projects and reduce the cost of hydrogen.  The availability of low-cost hydrogen at scale is a key enabler of the deployment of hydrogen for heat.

“We believe there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, and a whole range of heating technologies will need to be deployed for a range of properties. Baxi Heating, as part of BDR Thermea Group, is at the forefront of developing clean heating solutions, including our ground-breaking development of hydrogen boilers.

“Our work with the Hy4Heat project and associated demonstration sites in the UK show technical feasibility of this solution. We believe the Government should act upon advice from the Climate Change Committee and other sources advocating a mandate that all boiler sales from 2025 should be hydrogen-ready in order to help pre-populate a swathe of the housing stock ready for a future conversion.

“Technology, energy efficiency and business models are all bit parts in the wider picture. Skilled installers and contractors will be utterly essential to success, so we are glad to see the announcement of a hydrogen sector development action plan in early 2022 setting out how the government will support companies to secure supply chain opportunities, skills and jobs in hydrogen.

“Following the Hydrogen Strategy, we look forward to several important publications in the lead up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), including consultations on the role for hydrogen-ready appliances, off gas grid heating measures and the UK Heat and Buildings Strategy.”

Graham Russell, Viessmann UK
“As the UK looks to meet its 2050 Net Zero emissions target, we will need to change the way we heat our homes. A range of solutions will be required that fit the varying characteristics of buildings and the needs of consumers. A vital component in this transition to low carbon heat is hydrogen.

“Viessmann welcomes the UK Hydrogen Strategy published… by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This important document sets a clear direction of travel for the industry and enables companies such as Viessmann to continue investing in hydrogen solutions.

“Hydrogen boilers are a great option for consumers as they offer a like-for-like replacement with minimal disruption. Hydrogen also has wider benefits across the energy system, for example, when excess electricity is used to generate hydrogen by electrolysis, this encourages the further deployment of wind or solar power, contributing to a more resilient, low cost energy system.

“Viessmann is pleased to see the Government’s ongoing commitment to hydrogen trials and pilots which will demonstrate that hydrogen is as safe as natural gas and affordable for the consumer. We are also supportive of the Government’s announcement to consult on mandating “hydrogen ready” boilers from 2026 as this is a no-regrets step that will lower the cost of rolling out hydrogen heating in the future.

“Viessmann is one of the key pioneers in the hydrogen space with our hydrogen fuel cell that has been available since 2015. In addition, our Vitodens boiler range is certified and able to accept hydrogen blends of up to 20%, which means that consumers can begin reducing their emissions as soon as hydrogen becomes available. We are also working on our 100% hydrogen products for both domestic and commercial buildings and look forward to participating in trials and pilots over the coming years.”

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