Royal Society responds to government hydrogen announcements

14 December 2023

The Royal Society today welcomes announcements by the government that it will commit £2bn to boost the production of hydrogen across the UK.

Sheila Rowan, Vice President of the Royal Society, said: "These initiatives, which include the backing of 11 major projects to produce commercial scale hydrogen at sites across the UK resulting in investments of around £400m over the next three years, are a positive first step in the shift to renewable energy.

"We are also pleased to see the publication of a comprehensive strategy and roadmap setting out the government’s hydrogen ambitions, including future production, transport and storage rounds, something we have long pushed for. The UK has a unique geography and geology as well as the academic and industrial excellence to create an active hydrogen economy in the UK.

"Achieving net zero targets by 2050 will require a huge transformation in the use of energy, away from fossil fuel dependence towards renewable and sustainable alternatives. Green hydrogen is viewed as one of the key ways to provide cleaner fuel and achieve these targets.

"But, while today’s announcements represent a great first step, research must continue into developing new methods to use renewable energy in difficult to electrify applications such as aircraft, shipping and heavy road vehicles.

"It is also vital that the government kick-starts the construction of large-scale hydrogen storage facilities to fully harness the power of this valuable energy source."

See full details of the Royal Society’s major policy programme on low carbon energy.