Following yesterday’s announcement of the outcomes of the long-awaited Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) is calling for enhanced support for low carbon technologies, such as hydrogen and fuel cells. Specifically:
· Whilst we welcome the extension of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the planned reforms and associated savings of £700m remain unclear. We recommend an expansion of the scheme to include a wider mix of low carbon solutions rather than just renewables. For example, hydrogen and fuel cells can deliver low carbon heat through various routes, and could play a key role in addressing the key policy objective of decarbonizing heat.
· We’re pleased to note the increase in DECC’s innovation fund to £500 million over 5 years and recommend that part of it is used for nationwide large scale demonstration projects of innovative low carbon solutions, such as hydrogen and fuel cells, to help validate the sector’s capability in delivering affordable, low carbon electricity and heat and support Government’s and investors’ confidence in their potential, as well as helping to bring down costs through enhanced scale. To this effect, the UK HFCA is recommends that Innovate UK, and the forthcoming Research UK, will remain a strong supporter of the sector, and will re-introduce specific targeted funding for the sector.
· We are concerned with Government’s decision to halt the £1bn Competition for Carbon Capture and Storage, and recommend that Government continues to demonstrate its support for this technology which could be beneficial for all parts of the energy mix. By way of example, hydrogen produced in “pre-combustion capture” can be used to power vehicles, homes and commercial buildings.
Dennis Hayter, Chair of UK HFCA said: “The UK has a number of world leading hydrogen and fuel cell companies operating in the global market. Government support is needed now to make the UK an attractive place to manufacture and, thus, grow and retain current capability. We look forward to seeing the positive implications of the announcement of the CSR for hydrogen and fuel cells via the extended Renewable Heat Incentive, DECC’s Innovation programme and beyond.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association
The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) is an industry body acting on behalf of its members to accelerate the development and commercialisation of fuel cells and the greater deployment of hydrogen energy in the UK. It provides an authoritative point of contact and a clear, informed and up-to-date view on research, development and demonstration priorities for Government, other funding agencies and opinion formers. For further details visit www.ukhfca.co.uk