Big business has urged the Chancellor to back a UK-wide hydrogen strategy and unlock thousands of jobs and billions in investment.
In a letter to Rishi Sunak, the firms point out that Germany has already outlined a €9bn hydrogen plan, and the EU is putting together a strategy for investment across the bloc, expected to be announced 8 July.
“It is now clear that hydrogen is going to play an essential role in the world’s future, low-carbon economy and the increasingly bold steps being taken by other nations underlines the need for the UK to bring forward urgent measures to establish a hydrogen strategy and unlock investment and innovation,” per the letter. “We should not risk falling behind other nations in developing our hydrogen industry.”
Signatories include gas majors and gas networks, which need hydrogen to replace natural gas if they do not wish to see their assets stranded over the next couple of decades, as well as consultants, appliance manufacturers and utilities. They say they “stand ready” to invest up to £1.5bn if government sets out the framework that will protect their investment.
The letter comes as the solar lobby calls on the government to commit to more solar power, urging business secretary Alok Sharma to set a 2030 target of 40GW and provide more money in the contracts for difference support scheme.