The hydrogen challenge: addressing the awareness gap

02 May 2023

By Katy Riddington, Director of Workforce Development, HVM Catapult; Transformation Services Director, National Composites Centre

Powering Up Britain is Government’s blueprint for the future of energy in the UK, setting out the approach they will take to diversify, decarbonise and domesticate energy production to power the UK and accelerate our path to net zero by 2050.

To meet these targets and global decarbonisation goals, we will need to innovate, drive efficiencies, cut emissions and mainstream new, more sustainable energy sources.

Government’s first Hydrogen Strategy unveiled an ambitious roadmap to kick start a hydrogen economy. Together with industry, the ambition is to deliver up to 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, which could generate enough clean electricity to power all of London for a year. There is almost no low carbon hydrogen production in our energy system at the moment, so the next few years are going to be critical in laying the foundations required. To meet this enormous need and rapidly increase the production and use of hydrogen over the coming decade, we must increase industry understanding of hydrogen technologies and infrastructure now.

Accelerating hydrogen innovation

Through our connections with industry, researchers and government, we know that this increase in understanding is urgent. That’s why the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult’s seven centres of innovation have jointly developed a series of online modules designed to increase hydrogen awareness. These will help ensure the UK is best placed to overcome any challenges in our transition to a hydrogen-based economy.

These modules demonstrate the commitment and passion of the HVM Catapult and its centres in growing the UK hydrogen supply chain. We are bringing our insight and expertise in innovation and technology directly to industry to help benefit the UK economy and achieve net zero.

Accepting the hydrogen challenge

There are tremendous opportunities that the hydrogen sector can bring, including decarbonising industry, creating new jobs, delivering economic benefits, and increasing the UK’s attractiveness for inward investment. This means that it is important to put the UK at the forefront of the growing global hydrogen transformation.

Our awareness modules take learners through hydrogen production, storage and distribution, helping them to understand how this sector underpins those opportunities. In doing so, we explain the use of hydrogen across multiple sectors, its potential to bring down industrial emissions and its benefits in providing flexible energy for the national grid, heating and transport.

We are doing this because we know that collaborating is crucial to meeting challenges of all scales effectively. Transitioning to a new energy source is not something that any one organisation can take on alone. Every part of the manufacturing community has a valuable role to play, and it is through cross-sector collaboration that we will bring real transformation.

Whether you are new to the hydrogen topic, or you have already started your journey, the hydrogen awareness modules are for you. 


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