Green hydrogen will play a major role in meeting the world’s future energy demands, but we need integrated solutions to deliver our Net Zero ambitions in full, says Sian Lloyd-Rees – Managing Director of Aker Offshore Wind UK.
The UK Government’s new ‘energy security strategy’ has rapidly accelerated the country’s targets for renewables.
Among the many revisions, ministers now aim to double their ambition to up to 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, with at least half coming from green hydrogen.
This is needed in the UK to ensure security of energy supply, whilst providing clean energy at an affordable price for the consumer and delivering on our net zero ambitions.
The #RUKGreenHydrogen22 conference in Sheffieldo on 05 May is therefore an opportune moment to explore how hydrogen can contribute to this greener future, with the public and private sectors working together to make it a reality.
Hydrogen is also interesting in the context of integrated energy projects, which will be needed if we are to decarbonise at scale in the UK and globally. We can harness floating offshore wind energy and convert to another form of clean energy such as hydrogen with the technology and capability we have in the UK today.
At Aker we recently developed a project - the Northern Horizons Integrated Energy Project - which would utilise floating offshore wind turbines to generate 10GW of energy offshore Shetlands, which in turn would be converted to 5GW of hydrogen on floating offshore platforms and then transported by pipeline to a net zero refinery onshore.
The refinery would produce a range of zero carbon energy solutions for local consumption and export across the world, including ammonia, liquid hydrogen, and synthetic fuels. This development alone could generate enough liquid hydrogen to power 40 per cent of the total mileage of local UK buses, as well as enough synthetic fuel to make 750 round trips from the UK to New York.
In Wales and north-east England we are also evaluating how integrated energy schemes, using both floating offshore wind and hydrogen, can be used to decarbonise industrial corridors at the pre-combustion stage. Developments of this size and ambition are also what is needed to create thousands of high-skilled green jobs – early investment in supply chain capability and a pipeline of opportunity are needed to embed industrial strength in the UK.
Aker Clean Hydrogen has a portfolio of industrial clean hydrogen projects and prospects with a total capacity of 1.8GW under development, and a future opportunity pipeline of 6.8GW.
In the years ahead, hydrogen will play a vital role to accelerate decarbonisation. We know it has the potential to close as much as 50 per cent of the gap in CO2 emissions required to achieve the 2-degree scenario.
So I’m delighted that RenewableUK is launching Green Hydrogen UK to bring green hydrogen experts, renewable energy developers, and end-users together to discuss the next steps in this exciting innovation.
After years of anticipation, the time has come to deliver.