Blue Hydrogen Takes Over UK's Hydrogen Pipeline: Key Insights and Developments - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Blue Hydrogen Takes Over UK’s Hydrogen Pipeline: Key Insights and Developments

Here’s an article posted in Edie.

According to the article,

  • Blue hydrogen accounts for more than 80% of the UK’s hydrogen pipeline
  • The UK Government is developing a low-carbon hydrogen standard for public funding
  • Debate around the practicalities of blue hydrogen has intensified amid the energy price crisis
  • Shell is the largest participant in the development of hydrogen projects in the UK, with three blue hydrogen projects covering 3.3GW of capacity.

Additional details about this post:

The transition to blue hydrogen dominating the UK’s hydrogen pipeline involves several key steps and considerations:

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Production Facilities: Blue hydrogen is produced through a process called steam methane reforming (SMR) coupled with carbon capture and storage (CCS). This involves extracting hydrogen from natural gas while capturing and storing the resulting carbon emissions underground. The UK would need to invest in building or repurposing facilities equipped with CCS technology. As of my last update, there are plans to develop CCS infrastructure in the UK, with projects such as the Acorn CCS project in Scotland aiming to capture and store CO2 from hydrogen production.

Infrastructure Development: The existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the UK can be repurposed to transport hydrogen. However, this requires significant investment and modifications to ensure the safe transport of hydrogen, which behaves differently from natural gas. The UK government has outlined plans to invest in hydrogen infrastructure as part of its efforts to decarbonize the economy.

Policy Support: Government policies play a crucial role in incentivizing the transition to blue hydrogen. This includes providing financial support for CCS projects, setting targets for hydrogen production and usage, and implementing regulations to support the development of hydrogen infrastructure. The UK government’s Hydrogen Strategy, published in 2021, outlines its plans to support the development of a thriving hydrogen economy.

Industrial Demand: Blue hydrogen is particularly attractive for industries that require large quantities of hydrogen, such as steel and chemical manufacturing. These industries may transition to blue hydrogen as part of their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and meet sustainability targets. For example, the steel industry in the UK has expressed interest in using hydrogen as a cleaner alternative to coal in the steelmaking process.

Investment and Collaboration: Transitioning to blue hydrogen requires collaboration between government, industry, and research institutions. Public-private partnerships are essential for funding research and development, scaling up production facilities, and deploying hydrogen infrastructure. International collaboration is also important, as advancements in hydrogen technology and infrastructure are being made globally.

Consumer Acceptance and Education: Building public acceptance and awareness of hydrogen as a clean energy source is crucial for its widespread adoption. Educating consumers about the benefits of hydrogen, such as its role in reducing carbon emissions and its versatility as a fuel, can help drive demand and support the growth of the hydrogen economy.

Economic Viability: Ultimately, the success of blue hydrogen depends on its economic competitiveness compared to other forms of energy. While there are upfront costs associated with building hydrogen production and transportation infrastructure, the long-term benefits, such as reduced carbon emissions and energy security, can outweigh these costs. Continued advancements in technology and economies of scale are expected to drive down the cost of hydrogen production over time, making it more competitive with fossil fuels.

Some of the interesting questions we have regarding this stuff:

What specific criteria will the UK Government’s low-carbon hydrogen standard include, and how will it affect the deployment and funding of future hydrogen projects?

Considering the energy price crisis, how does the cost and efficiency of producing blue hydrogen compare to other forms of hydrogen, such as green hydrogen?

Given Shell’s significant role in the UK’s hydrogen sector, what measures are they implementing to address the environmental concerns associated with blue hydrogen production?

Blue Hydrogen Project: Shell Blue Hydrogen Process Wins Humber H2ub Contract: Shell’s process design package wins Humber H2ub contract, aiming for competitive hydrogen production, advancing sustainable low-carbon hydrogen economy.

About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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