The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

The UK’s Hydrogen Economy – Industry Reactions

The UK’s Hydrogen Economy – Industry Reactions
19 August 2021

The UK’s first-ever hydrogen strategy launched this week, defining the energy source as critical in the country’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The hydrogen strategy is one of a series of strategies the UK government is publishing ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP26, taking place in Glasgow this November.

In the UK, a low-carbon hydrogen economy could deliver emissions savings equivalent to the carbon captured by 700 million trees by 2032, and is a key pillar of capitalising on cleaner energy sources as the UK moves away from fossil fuels.

Hydrogen could also play a significant role in heating people’s homes and businesses, helping to slash carbon emissions from the UK’s heating system.


Watch The Video



Hydrogen Success Stories


Across the UK, innovative projects involving hydrogen are already taking place:


  • In Scotland, the Acorn Hydrogen project located in St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, is taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure to reform North Sea natural gas into low carbon hydrogen with the emissions created from generating the hydrogen, safely removed and stored through carbon capture, usage and storage. 
  • In Northern Ireland, Wrightbus in Belfast has invested heavily into developing hydrogen fuel cell buses
  • In Port Talbot, a project by Hanson Cement is demonstrating how hydrogen from renewable energy can help decarbonise cement manufacturing.
  • Unilever and Progressive Energy are running a trial to switch an onsite natural gas-fired boiler to hydrogen. The boiler, located at Unilever’s Port Sunlight facility on the Wirral, raises steam used for the manufacture of home and personal care products.


Export For UK


Clare Jackson, Head of Innovation and Low Carbon at Germserv, agreed that supporting hydrogen will help deliver a green recovery and that it has the potential to be a world-leading export for the UK:

“The Hydrogen Strategy published today fires the starting gun on the scaling of hydrogen solutions in the UK. This is great news for the industry, but it is just the first step in a very long journey to establishing hydrogen as a key part of our future energy systems and enable the UK to cost-effectively deliver net-zero”.



Picture: a photograph of Clare Jackson


“Property designers, owners, occupiers and policy decision-makers must now determine the best way to improve building energy performance, from insulation and double glazing to heating, cooling, lighting and hot water alternatives.”

–Steve McGregor

Group MD, DMA Group


The Opportunity to Upskill


A booming, UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900 million and create over 9,000 high-quality jobs by 2030, potentially rising to 100,000 jobs and worth up to £13 billion by 2050. By 2030, hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonising polluting, energy-intensive industries like chemicals, oil refineries, power and heavy transport like shipping, HGV lorries and trains, by helping these sectors move away from fossil fuels. 

Jeff House, Head of External Affairs at Baxi Heating, said that the shift will drive upskilling opportunities: 

“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.”




Commercial Real Estate Sector Must Drive Strategy Forward


Steve McGregor, Group MD of DMA Group, spoke about the role of commercial property owners in driving the hydrogen strategy forward:

“Property designers, owners, occupiers and policy decision-makers must now determine the best way to improve building energy performance, from insulation and double glazing to heating, cooling, lighting and hot water alternatives.”

"We should be proud that Britain was home to the first industrial revolution and is now paving the way for a next, green industrial revolution. We can’t underestimate the scale and breadth of the commitment to establish the UK as a global leader in carbon capture technology. It will protect tens of thousands of jobs whilst creating thousands of others. Collectively we must move towards renewable energy, waste less and reduce our demand."


100% Hydrogen Economy


Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy and Utilities Alliance predicts an eventual switch to a 100 per cent hydrogen economy in the future:

"The UK’s Hydrogen Strategy represents a huge step in the right direction for the introduction of the technology, something the heating industry is rallying behind in the decarbonisation process. The government’s commitment to hydrogen is a promising step, which will help to create thousands of jobs and decarbonise homes for millions of consumers with minimal disruption.



Picture: a photograph of Mike Foster


“We are enthused to see the government also recognise the role a hydrogen blend into the grid will play in reducing carbon emissions without homeowners needing to change appliances or boilers. It is of great importance that the transition to hydrogen does not cause disruption or large costs to consumers. The blend is a way to significantly reduce emissions with no change, which will, in turn, leave time for the groundwork to be laid for a seamless switch to 100 per cent hydrogen later on."

Picture: a photograph of a hydrogen power project

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 19 August 2021


Related Articles

Islay Distillery Targets Net-Zero with Hydrogen Innovation

Protium Green Solutions, the UK‐based green hydrogen energy services company, has received more than £70,000 in funding to complete a...

 Read Full Article
Sustainable Deliveries at 22 Bishopsgate to Lower City Emissions

A sustainable delivery system at 22 Bishopsgate is set to reduce the number of weekly vehicle trips to the building from 1,300 to just 50. AXA IM Alts, developer of...

 Read Full Article
The World's First Net-Zero Football Game

Tottenham Hotspur has partnered with Sky to host the world’s first net-zero carbon football game at an elite level. Supported by COP26 and the Premier League,...

 Read Full Article
What Is the Aim of COP26?

The UK will host COP26 in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. The summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the...

 Read Full Article
Biochar – The Latest Carbon-Friendly Material

Researchers and scientists are experimenting with Biochar, the carbon-rich soil, to examine its use within the built environment. Discovered via observing the man-made...

 Read Full Article
Sodexo Launches 2021 Social Impact Pledge

Sodexo UK & Ireland has announced its commitment to a series of pledges forming its ethical manifesto for leading the way to improve quality of life for society and...

 Read Full Article
Government’s Route to Net-Zero Still Unclear, Says Rinnai

There are conflicting statements and polarising interest groups making the future of decarbonisation look very unclear, says Rinnai’s Chris Goggin. In this...

 Read Full Article
AI Predicts Building Energy Rates in Less Than A Second

An artificial intelligence system that can predict building emissions rates almost instantly has been created. Current methods can take days to produce building...

 Read Full Article
UhUb Partners with Planet Mark

UhUb, the provider of Education Technology for the cleaning sector, has partnered with Planet Mark, a sustainability certification for every type of...

 Read Full Article
Carbon Savings From One Virtual Conference Could Power 17 Homes For a Year

The carbon saving from just one virtual conference could power 17 homes for a year. Research from Ezra, a provider of digital coaching, has revealed how UK...

 Read Full Article