The UK’s leading association supporting the hydrogen sector and the fuel cell industry has praised the government decision to appoint Jane Toogood as the UK’s first Hydrogen Champion.

The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association has backed the appointment of Ms Toogood, who is Chief Executive of Catalyst Technologies at one of its executive member organisations Johnson Matthey as well as co-chair of the Hydrogen Advisory Council.

CEO of the UK HFCA Celia Greaves said: “This appointment presents a golden opportunity for industry and government to work together to realise the government’s hydrogen ambitions and make the UK a world-leading hydrogen economy.

“Johnson Matthey is active across the whole of the hydrogen sector so Jane is well-positioned to advocate in the interests of all parties.

“This was not the only good news either – we are also set to see the opening of the joint allocation round for green hydrogen projects and the publication of several documents that deliver on commitments set out in the UK Hydrogen Strategy and the British Energy Security Strategy.”

The news came after Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng met with businesses at the Hydrogen Investment Summit, reaffirming the Government’s vision for the UK to be a hydrogen-based economy – as set out in the Hydrogen Strategy published in August 2021.

He said: “The UK’s hydrogen sector is open for business. With the right investment, we can unlock the enormous potential of hydrogen by reindustrialising our economy and ending our dependency on expensive fossil fuels.

“The new funding represents an important step forward in realising this potential, and I look forward to working with Jane Toogood as our new Hydrogen Champion, ensuring industry and government are aligned to accelerate hydrogen production as a clean, home grown energy source – boosting our energy security and creating jobs.”

Ms Toogood’s role will involve identifying current barriers to building a strong UK hydrogen economy and develop creative solutions for how these can be addressed to accelerate the project pipeline and deliver on the UK government commitments.

She said: “At Johnson Matthey, we see that demand for hydrogen ecosystems globally is being taken up across industry, transportation and the power sector at a rapid pace, especially with the increased focus on energy security. As the UK’s Hydrogen Champion, working with industry and government, I hope to ensure we make progress in building a thriving hydrogen economy ensuring private sector investment and policy decisions are aligned to support timely decisions and outcomes. “

UK HFCA hails Hydrogen Champion as “golden opportunity” for UK hydrogen goals