Hydrogen strategy flushed out the naysayers
23rd Aug 2021
The long awaited publication of the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy last week certainly flushed out the naysayers in the energy world and frankly made them look like juvenile when what is needed are adults in the room.
Frankly, the strategy didn’t say anything that surprised people who follow the issue. Production of the fuel is key, at the right price, and identifying where demand is allows the market to start to function and deliver. Identifying the benefits of blending 20 per cent into the gas grid (it’s a no-brainer really) was pleasing to see, especially for those of us involved in HyDeploy. But what troubled me were the usual voices crying out that it would only save 7 per cent of domestic carbon emissions, as if it really isn’t worth the effort. Well for no additional consumer investment, just carry on as now, and save nearly 5 million tonnes of carbon a year from residential properties alone. Putting that into equivalents, it’s the same as switching 3 million gas boilers to heat pumps. Using the Government’s own admission of “£10 grand a pop” that’s £30 billion that consumers would have to spend for the same impact.
Then there was the pledge to consult on mandatory hydrogen-ready boilers from 2026. You’d think. ‘what’s wrong with that?’ given the recent promise of price equivalence with natural gas boilers from the UK manufacturers. So no additional cost to the consumer, but maximum choice of options going forward for policy makers. But some took exception to this too.
Both of the above advocated by the Climate Change Committee, both sensible positions adopted by the Strategy and neither involving upfront costs to the consumer – the most important voice in all of this.
So what is the problem?
Opposition to these measures simply fuels the agenda of those who oppose any action on climate change and gives pause for thought with those who perhaps have reservations but not outright opposition. Now the naysayers would argue they are climate change activists even if their actions belie this claim. That’s why we need adults in the room making decisions.
Mike Foster, CEO
EUA's Chief Executive
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