In force today (31st March), the UK government has cut back its support for the fossil fuel sector overseas as it seeks to harness new and emerging technologies such as hydrogen.
A landmark move for the country, the move is in favor of clean energy and accelerates the shift to supporting green technologies, while creating jobs across the UK and spurring industry growth.
First announced in December (2020), when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened the Climate Ambition Summit, co-convened by the United Nations, UK and France, change has been brewing for years. month.
The effort, however, by no means marks the first major move by the UK government towards a Green Revolution as it progresses towards net zero by 2050. Before UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did announces the decision to reduce support for fossil fuels abroad, it has also published its 10-point plan.
Unveiled in November (2020), the government’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, pledged a multibillion-dollar package of green economy investments designed to create and support up to 250,000 new jobs, while moving forward towards net zero by 2050..
The plan also proposed to generate 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, enough to power around 1.5 million homes for industry, transportation, electricity and homes, and aims to develop the first city entirely heated by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
To account for the above, the Prime Minister announced at the time up to 500m, including testing of houses using hydrogen for heating and cooking, starting with a hydrogen district in 2023 , then moving to a hydrogen village by 2025, with the goal of a hydrogen city.
Read more:British Prime Minister backs hydrogen in 10-point green plan
While the reduction in overseas fossil fuel support and a strong focus on green energy on the part of the UK government may suggest hits to the fossil fuel workforce here in the UK, this does not will not be due to another major announcement last week.
Exactly one week ago (24e March), the UK government has pledged that highly skilled oil and gas and supply chain workers will not be left behind in the transition to a low-carbon future, an initiative that will be supported by the government and the unions.
Through the package of measures, the agreement is expected to reduce pollution by up to 60 million tonnes by 2030, of which 15 million tonnes will come from oil and gas production on the UK continental shelf, the equivalent annual emissions of 90% of UK homes while supporting 40,000 jobs across the supply chain.
Not only will the deal help existing businesses decarbonise for a net zero future by 2050, it will also create the right business environment to attract new industrial sectors to establish themselves in the UK, develop new ones. new export opportunities for UK companies, and securing new high-value jobs in the long term.
Welcoming the measures taken by the UK government, Celia Greaves, Managing Director of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, said: Achieving net zero is a big challenge, and all the actions that help us along the way are welcome. As fossil fuel production declines and renewables increase, so do the possibilities for green hydrogen production.
With hydrogen seen as a key part of the energy transition in the UK, we are well positioned to help, as system and project developers expand to respond to both domestic and export markets.
In the short to medium term, although fossil fuels remain in the mix, further carbon reductions will be possible through the conversion of natural gas to hydrogen with carbon capture and storage. Again, the UK has a growing capacity to support not only our own decarbonisation ambitions but those of other countries as well.
Adam Bond, CEO of AFC Energy, also welcomed the move, adding that the historic UK government’s decision to end overseas fossil fuel subsidies is expected to result in billions of pounds being reallocated to new, sustainable technologies at supporting the country’s net zero aspirations.
The UK is already offering some of the most advanced hydrogen technologies to local and overseas markets and today’s news could therefore significantly boost the production and use of hydrogen in the UK, creating new thousands of high-value green jobs across the UK and driving international growth and export opportunities for the industry.
This provides a great opportunity for the government to not only focus on the production of hydrogen, but also on how it can be deployed in key applications to help decarbonize the industry quickly. Reducing carbon emissions in sectors such as construction will be crucial in enabling the UK to meet its net zero goals and hydrogen power systems, such as those produced by AFC Energy, can help move the highly polluting diesel generator industry.