Green power generators have welcomed the first report from the government’s ‘hydrogen champion’.

Johnson Matthey executive Jane Toogood was appointed last summer as an independent advocate, tasked to take views from hydrogen stakeholders, and cast them into policy demands on ministers.   In August 2021, the government published Britain’s first high-level Hydrogen Strategy.

Her report yesterday called for more detail & joined-up thinking in Whitehall on fostering the gas, potentially as an era-defining substitute to carbon-heavy existing feedstocks in transport, heat & industrial processes.

Among Toogood’s recommendations to ministers:

  • Remove planning & investment barriers to deliver industrial-scale projects in hydrogen electrolysis & carbon-capture & storage
  • Stimulate demand in blending, heating & transport
  • Task a future replacement for National Grid ESO to embrace hydrogen distribution
  • Providing a clear vision for investors on how and when hydrogen will scale-up beyond the first round of projects
  • Create a road map in quest of cost savings of up to £ 38 billion to industry spurred by the green gas

The champion’s recommendations to industry include offering work groups to policy makers, setting out enterprises’ steps needed to foster a hydrogen-driven future.

On behalf of its 500 or so member companies, policy director Frank Gordon at the Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology responded:

“The Hydrogen Champion’s report highlights the need for greater clarity on upcoming policy decisions for hydrogen users, funding available, and overall delivery of the hydrogen roadmap to 2030 and beyond. This is something that the REA has been calling for, and industry urgently needs.

“The REA welcomes the report’s recommendations”, Gordon went on, “particularly in kickstarting investment by overcoming barriers to deliver the first CCUS-enabled and electrolytic hydrogen production projects at scale, providing a clear vision for investors on how and when hydrogen will scale-up beyond the first round of projects, and driving rapid development of the hydrogen economy by stimulating demand in blending, heating, and transport.

“Although government must now take the lead to assure the market, industry stands ready to deliver the UK’s hydrogen ambitions.”


  1. Producing more affordable hydrogen in the UK, especially fuel cell grade, is key, but what about the hydrogen refueling stations for transport that are urgently needed to start the conversion of vehicles to hydrogen? While Europe is forging ahead with the building of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure with the target to have a filling station on every major road no further apart than 140kms by 2030, while here in the UK we have fewer operational hydrogen refueling stations than 2 years ago, and the UK Infrastructure Commission advises that they have no plans to support building one, concentrating on just EV charging points that are already placing a strain on the National Grid.


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