The societal shift in de-carbonising the energy system should give the integration of green hydrogen into renewable production a prime position on the agenda. Wind and solar are ideal technologies to produce a renewable hydrogen, with a greenhouse gas emission of virtually zero during its production.

In addition to playing a role in de-carbonization, onsite hydrogen production could also offer a solution to an overloaded grid and provide an alternative or supplemental route to market.

The applications for green hydrogen in industry (de-carbonising industrial processes) and powering heavy goods vehicles, along with its long storage life, make it an ideal pairing for wind and solar generation. In order to future-proof projects, wind and solar developers need to be making provision for potential hydrogen production, storage and export as part of their site assemblies, as co-location may well prove to be a key consideration to ensure the future viability of projects.

The success of all renewable energy production and carbon reduction has always depended on policy, and green hydrogen in the UK has a long way to go. 

The EU Commission has already taken the lead this week by launching a €1billion innovation fund:

The EU will invest €1 billion in promising, market-ready projects such as clean hydrogen or other low-carbon solutions for energy-intensive industries like steel, cement and chemicals. We will also support energy storage, grid solutions, and carbon capture and storage. These large-scale investments will help restart the EU economy and create a green recovery that leads us to climate neutrality in 2050.”  Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans. 

The eligibility of UK based projects for this fund will however depend on the post-Brexit relations.

Germany is also leading the way: 

hydrogen production through electrolysis requires dedicated policy support to bridge the cost gap vis-a-vis fossil gas”, says Matthias Deutsch from German think tank Agora Energiewende. Experts are converging on the idea of Carbon Contracts for Difference, which would guarantee investors in green hydrogen projects a price for CO2 emissions above the EU carbon market price. Germany intends to pilot this for steel and chemicals production."

If the UK government's green recovery plan is to be realized, it needs to put green hydrogen at the heart of its agenda.