Hydrogen – maximising the UK’s supply chain and technology potential

Carbon Connect and the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group recently hosted a roundtable with parliamentarians, representatives from industry and the third sector to discuss how domestic technology companies and the supply chain can maximise potential opportunities arising from the UK’s hydrogen ambition.   

The parliamentary session was held in partnership with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and chaired by Mark Pawsey MP.

Opening remarks were delivered by:

With the hydrogen economy anticipated to be worth $2.5 trillion globally by 2050, speakers agreed that it was crucial for the UK to become a leader in the use of hydrogen, and the manufacture and development of supporting technology.

Contributors explained the importance of the UK investing strategically to support supply chains and develop industrial capacity. Once possessing the capacity to meet its domestic needs and global market demand, the UK could power global hydrogen production, while also contributing to the achievement of net-zero goals.

In a fast-developing sector, speakers noted that industry must work together with government and academia to ensure the UK can grasp the opportunity both in deployment, but also in manufacturing and the supply chain.

After insightful opening comments, participants joined a discussion that first covered the users and applications of hydrogen. Business representatives highlighted the importance of cross-party support for an industrial strategy that includes hydrogen and the need to set an appropriate level of ambition for hydrogen, given the size of the market opportunity and the scale of the net zero challenge.

As the UK’s abundance of high-quality renewable energy grants it a unique opportunity to become a global leader in hydrogen exports, participants encouraged the Government to display an ambition that ensures the technologies required to support hydrogen production will become more effective and reduce in cost over time.

Despite the potential to create 12,000 jobs over the next decade in the hydrogen industry, there are shortages in the STEM skills required to support the hydrogen economy. There was agreement that businesses should forge closer STEM links with schools and the FE sector.

The roundtable was held in Parliament on 4 March. For more information, please contact robert.allen [at] policyconnect.org.uk (robert[dot]allen[at]policyconnect[dot]org[dot]uk).