Businesses call on Chancellor to back UK-wide hydrogen strategy

A group of businesses is calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to invest £1.5billion in hydrogen technologies as part of a UK-wide strategy.

The businesses have united around a new campaign group, Hydrogen Strategy Now, and argue that developing a clear, strategic plan will unlock significant private funding in hydrogen technologies and manufacturing across the country, driving growth and generating hundreds of thousands of green jobs.

The cross-industry group, which combined employs around 100,000 people with a combined value of £100billion in the UK, says it stands ready to invest up to £1.5billion in hydrogen projects and create thousands of jobs across the country.

The letter to the Chancellor says: “As you look to design a post-COVID recovery, we encourage you to focus on creating high-skilled, green jobs, in sectors that will be critical to the future economy, such as low-carbon energy, transport and heavy industry.

“These measures would be wholly complementary to the Government’s levelling-up agenda and long-term decarbonisation goals. For example, the Committee for Climate Change has made it clear that the UK will not meet its Net Zero targets without significant investment in the hydrogen economy.

“The global hydrogen economy is estimated to be worth $2.5 trillion by 2050, supporting 30 million jobs. Other nations, such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and China have already set ambitious strategies for growing their hydrogen economies. Just last week, Germany joined this list with their own €9 billion hydrogen strategy. The European Commission is also creating an EU hydrogen strategy, which includes plans for multi-billion euro investment in hydrogen projects, and schemes to boost sales of hydrogen electric vehicles.

“The UK missed the boat on wind technology and missed the boat on batteries. We can’t afford to miss the boat on hydrogen. “

Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP for Rother Valley and a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, backs the campaign: “It is abundantly clear that the Government must support a truly sustainable green recovery. These brilliant businesses are critical to achieving that future green energy mix, and they will achieve that through their hydrogen operations. 

“We want to see emissions reduced, we want investment and we want green jobs. If we don’t want the UK to be left behind we need to act now, supporting hydrogen to the benefit of us all.”