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| 1 minute read

Warning: the UK government’s hydrogen plan isn’t green at all, it’s another oil industry swindle

Never mind the Great Rock ‘n’ roll Swindle (for those old enough to remember) but the great green Hydrogen swindle is in full flow. I believe as many do, that green H2 will have a part to play in the decarbonisation challenge we face. Hard to abate industries, such as Cement, Steel and Glass will be difficult to electrify, as will long haul shipping (that said a significant amount of long haul shipping is transporting fossil fuels!) 

Michael Liebreich's Hydrogen ladder gives a well researched and explained idea of where Green H2 is valuable and viable, and where it is not (The Clean Hydrogen Ladder [Now updated to V4.1] - liebreich )

As another political farce, COP 28, is ongoing, the UK government continue at pace to accept the BS and lobbying of the fossil fuel industry and their shills and lackeys, to greenwash, gaslight and push hydrogen use where it makes no sense, unless you're financially invested in fossil fuels. 

This article from the Guardian sheds some insight on the duplicity.

So many of us work to decarbonise industry and transport, including many in the Hydrogen industry, for genuine reasons, and with genuine use cases. It's important that all of us shout loud about what is and what isn't a good use case. Otherwise many years are lost, and many tax dollars, pounds and Euro's will be feathering the nests of those that cause CO2, methane and other negative emissions, rather than those that seek to genuinely remove them. 



The UK’s much touted low carbon hydrogen standard (LCHS) is an example of this. While hydrogen can be a low-emission fuel, the UK’s plan is quite clearly a fig leaf for “blue” hydrogen – which is made from fossil fuels – and according to one study, is even more at odds with our commitment to limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C than burning coal. Today, the vast majority of the UK’s hydrogen production is made from natural gas (the marketing term for methane) in a very carbon-intensive process. Blue hydrogen would also be produced from methane, but with promises that the resulting CO2 emissions would be captured and buried underground. But even if most of the CO2 can be safely captured (a very big “if”), blue hydrogen’s full life-cycle emissions are likely still to be high.


hydrogen, green hydrogen, tax payers, energy transition, investment, leadership, cleantech, climate tech