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Blog: EMEC welcomes UK Hydrogen Strategy commitment to drive future research and demonstration projects

EMEC hydrogen storage cylinders (Credit Colin Keldie)

EMEC hydrogen storage cylinders (Credit Colin Keldie)

Orkney recognised for leading role in developing green hydrogen economy

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its Hydrogen Strategy this week. The document outlines ambitions for the role that hydrogen might play in our future decarbonised energy system and commits the government to developing policies to support the delivery of future hydrogen projects.

We are particularly pleased to see clear commitments from BEIS throughout the strategy document to both invest in and learn from further research, development, innovation and, crucially, demonstration projects. This research is vital to support future decision making by generating evidence around hydrogen production and use, and will help us develop the best possible solutions to deliver net zero energy systems cheaply with minimal disruption to energy users.

BEIS have committed to sharing further details of how the Hydrogen Strategy will be implemented in a subsequent Action Plan document and we look forward to engaging constructively with key public and private sector stakeholders to identify priority research questions and put forward proposals for the work required to address these.

It’s particularly useful that BEIS acknowledge the challenges that existing and inflexible regulatory frameworks can pose for innovative projects and first-of-a-kind demonstration activities. We wait in anticipation to see what will be put in place to alleviate these barriers to better facilitate the research activity which is required to drive progress in the sector.

Most heartening to read is the clear recognition in the strategy of the role for Orkney as an emerging centre of excellence in green hydrogen innovation.

Orkney is recognised for the value of pathfinder projects which are already developing real-world knowledge regarding the practical applications of green hydrogen as an energy carrier. Case studies in the document draw upon the examples of EMEC projects including BIG HIT and HyFlyer I and II, as well as the locally-significant HySeas III project. These projects are demonstrating opportunities to use green hydrogen, produced using locally sourced renewable electricity, to support energy resilience in island areas (BIG HIT), as well as the applications for green hydrogen in decarbonising aviation (HyFlyer projects) and ferry services (HySeas III).

Commitments from BEIS to issue consultations to inform policies which will deliver upon the ambitious plans outlined in the strategy are also encouraging. EMEC has a track record of sharing lessons from operational hydrogen innovation projects to advise policy makers and we will engage similarly in these consultations in due course.

EMEC will continue to make an evidence-based case for the role that decentralised green hydrogen production can play in providing opportunities to ‘level up’ island and coastal areas with abundant marine and wind renewable energy resources at hand.

And as always, we look forward to working with our partners to play our part in building that evidence base to drive progress in deploying green hydrogen solutions as part of our future net zero energy system.

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Dr James Walker

Hydrogen Development Manager








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