Hydrogen projects must meet carbon standard to get government cash

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has promised to ensure that a major increase in hydrogen production will not exacerbate climate change

The pledge came in a response to ENDS’s story yesterday on studies criticising ‘blue hydrogen’ – that is, hydrogen produced from natural gas, as the vast majority is today, but with the resulting CO2 captured and stored. Due largely to fugitive emissions of methane, two American professors calculated that the technology may have a larger carbon footprint than simply burning natural gas.

READ MORE: Betting on blue: Is Whitehall right to back hydrogen from natural gas?

Defending the government’s plans, a spokesperson for the department said that the forthcoming Hydrogen Strategy will set out a ‘low carbon hydrogen production standard’. The plan should “ensure the technologies we support make a real contribution to our goals,” she added.

Compliance with the standard will be necessary to access government funding, according to BEIS, which is set to run into the hundreds of millions of pounds. But the response indicates that it will not be a legally enforceable standard.

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