I was delighted to be a participant in the first of Renewable UK’s Future Systems webinars on Green Hydrogen this morning. It was a really productive panel debate, covering opportunities, why the renewable energy industry should be taking an interest and what should be the next steps in policy.  The overriding view was that the renewables industry should be embracing hydrogen and thinking about the role it could play in projects now, if only to futureproof development.

  • There is undoubtedly a way to go before full production and major projects, but at least 90 hydrogen projects are already in the development stages.  We did hear from ScottishPower Renewables about the plans for hydrogen at the Whitelee wind farm
  • To capitalise on the hydrogen opportunity it will be all about collaboration. That is collaboration with the supply chain, the diverse potential customer base and the industry groups
  • Key to any hydrogen project is what use the hydrogen will be put to and aligning customers for the hydrogen product.  The growth must be customer driven.
  • Be clear on the role you as a renewable energy developer, want to play in the supply chain. Are you merely providing electricity to a hydrogen project or could your business model include owning the electrolyser or supplying the hydrogen?
  • When you are planning projects now consider the basics. Make sure, for example, that you are considering what land rights you need in order to allow electrolysers to be situated at the site, consider planning and the consenting envelope that you need and whether the hydrogen plans need to be included or not.  Line up potential customers now, but understand what infrastructure they will need to invest in to use hydrogen.
  • Take advantage of the huge wealth of knowledge there is already out there in the UK around hydrogen. For many years the UK has been leading the way in terms of hydrogen innovation and technology. Now is the time to be consulting and speaking and reaching out to those individuals to assess what the full opportunities renewables can play going forward.

Burges Salmon are members of Renewable UK's Hydrogen Working Group and the Executive of the UK Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association.  We are working on a number of hydrogen projects for both green and blue hydrogen.  If you would like to talk to one of our team get in touch.  In the next few months we should have the Government's Strategy on Hydrogen.