Innovation vital to maximise UK’s hydrogen market potential

New report launched in Westminster aims to help the UK capture more of the hydrogen technology market.

Yesterday saw the publication of the UK Hydrogen Innovation Opportunity by the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative, a partnership of Catapults and innovation organisations (see list below). The report was launched at a reception at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, attended by key industry leaders, Government officials, politicians, and academics. It highlights that by 2050 the global hydrogen economy could be worth $8tn annually, with a global hydrogen technology market with the potential to reach $1tn.

The UK has an opportunity to capture a significant proportion of this future technology market, which will carry with it a three-fold benefit:

  1. 1. Economic growth: Increasing UK economic benefits and job creation by addressing a high growth, global export market.
  2. 2. Decarbonisation: Establishing resilience in the UK’s net zero pathway including delivering the 10GW low carbon hydrogen production target by 2030.
  3. 3. Influence: Securing a leadership position for the UK and influencing where the value will be anchored.

The report highlights how sustained investment over the next decade will establish the UK’s position – boosting public and private investment into key areas to get ahead of international competition. Based on insights from across industry and key stakeholders, the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative has identified four focus areas that represent the greatest potential benefit for the UK:

  1. 1. Production of hydrogen and conversion into carriers e.g. ammonia
  2. 2. Propulsion systems for transport
  3. 3. Industrial hydrogen for feedstock, heat and power
  4. 4. End-to-end hydrogen storage
“Innovation thrives on collaboration, and the launch of the UK Hydrogen Innovation Opportunity represents a significant milestone in our collective efforts to help UK industry capture more of this growing market.”
Erika Lewis, CEO of Connected Places Catapult

Connected Places Catapult has played a key role in the collaboration to date, leading technical engagement activities, and partnering with organisations on real world demonstrations.

Hydrogen is set to play a role across all the areas of interest Connected Places Catapult works in. Projects such as Zero Emission Road Freight and Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure have been exploring hydrogen’s potential impact on transport decarbonisation, and the infrastructure and regulatory challenges to be overcome to enable further adoption.

The next step for the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative is another phase of industrial stakeholder engagement to validate the four technology focus areas. This will be supported by detailed analysis to better define the scale of the opportunity, and the steps required to secure it for the UK.

Read the full report below.

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Partners in the programme are: