A coalition of 20 organisations led by E3G – including Octopus Energy, the UK Green Building Council and WWF-UK – have written to the UK Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps, with regards to the recent Hydrogen Champion Report, led by Jane Toogood.
While the group welcomes the report’s recommendations to scale up the hydrogen economy with a clear, long-term vision; it warns against recommendations concerning blending hydrogen into the gas grid. Key points include:
- Using grid blending to shore up hydrogen demand creates unfair costs for consumers: A 20% hydrogen blend would increase gas costs by around 16%, while only reducing emissions by 7%, due to inefficiencies in burning hydrogen.
- Delaying investment in heat decarbonisation: Blending could create greenwash as the public is told that “gas has gone green”, when in fact “hydrogen-ready boilers” will continue to burn fossil fuels for decades to come.
- Without a strategic long-term vision for the hydrogen economy, blending could risk locking-in hydrogen for domestic heating at the expense of other sectors. Blending will not encourage strategic deployment of demand-side technologies in sectors like power generation, industrial processes, and aviation, where hydrogen could play a more cost-effective role in meeting net zero.