Earlier this week, several companies joined forces to launch the Green Hydrogen Alliance, an independent business group formed to promote the UK as a global leader in the development and deployment of hydrogen produced using renewable power.
The Alliance aims to highlight the opportunities that exist through the use of green hydrogen by industries, including road haulage, construction, and power generation, and promoting ways to accelerate the commercial viability of green hydrogen technologies.
Whilst hydrogen has significant potential as a source of clean energy, it does not occur naturally in its pure form. It, therefore, requires extracting from sources such as water, biomass, fossil fuels, or minerals.
There are various extraction processes that produce varying amounts of emissions. These extraction processes are given colors that correspond to the greenhouse gas profile of the energy source or process used to extract hydrogen.
‘Green’ hydrogen is extracted using a method that uses electricity or waste biomass. Since this method does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions, it is regarded as the gold standard. Currently, the cost of producing renewable energy limits the amount of hydrogen produced using this method. However, in the future, it is hoped green hydrogen will become an increasingly viable option.
Other forms of hydrogen production include blue, grey, brown, and black, all of which produce greenhouse gas emissions to some degree.
The UK government has set a target of generating 5 gigawatts of green hydrogen power by 2030 (note: one gigawatt is roughly the same size as two coal-fired power plants and is enough energy to power 750,000 homes). It has also provided funding to a number of pilot projects and plans for business models to provide producers of low-carbon hydrogen with long-term contracts.
The Alliance has warned the UK government must act quickly to develop a policy that enables investment in new green hydrogen production capacity or risk falling behind other countries that are driving a more rapid transition to green hydrogen technologies.
The alliance believes green hydrogen can play an important role in the transition to net zero by helping to decarbonise transportation and heavy industry whilst providing energy storage.
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British Association of Landscape Industries