A word magpie
10th Jan 2022
Firstly, Happy New Year to you all. I suspect 2022 isn’t going to be a quiet one for the energy world. Over the Christmas/New Year break I came across a phrase that I am going to steal, I’ve told the author already, but so powerful is it I’m happy to be a word magpie.
Phrases, soundbites, slogans – whatever we call them, can be incredibly powerful and persuasive. Who still remembers “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” or the simple “Get Brexit done”? They convey a message that cuts across the noise of everyday conversation and then, importantly, they deliver change.
So there was I mulling over the huge benefits to the UK of developing a hydrogen economy, not least because we have the gas network infrastructure in place to distribute it and the home appliance set up to use it. But importantly, we have the ability to generate it too. Whilst we might not be the sunniest spot of earth, averaged over a year we have the wind capacity to generate green hydrogen. Whilst we still have unused gas reserves under our seas (and land too), this gives us an opportunity to use fossil fuels with CCS to generate blue hydrogen. And because we haven’t turned our back on nuclear power generation, we have the potential for pink hydrogen too.
I would say that is a great backdrop to improving the UK’s energy security, effectively becoming more independent of the global market that is currently causing so much pain.
But there’s another aspect of hydrogen that is exciting. Rather than energy supply being determined by geology, what’s under our feet, as it is with oil and gas, green hydrogen can be harnessed from our climate. Sun and wind are what is needed and many more countries are blessed with those. Just nearby, Spain and Portugal, southern Italy all have a great opportunity to develop hydrogen economies of their own, and for export. So do our Commonwealth allies in Australia, our friends across the pond in the US. Don’t even factor in the North African states not blessed with oil and gas. All arguably more friendly politically than some of our current energy sources.
So here it is, I’ve kept it to last, I intend to use it and I hope you do too.
“Hydrogen favours both energy independence and interdependence.”