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Our role in Britain’s plan for greater energy independence

News / Hydrogen

7th April 2022

The Government’s British Energy Security Strategy announced today sets out how Great Britain will accelerate the deployment of wind, new nuclear, solar and hydrogen, whilst supporting the production of domestic oil and gas in the nearer term – which could see 95% of electricity by 2030 being low carbon.

Kate Willard OBE, Estuary Envoy and Chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board said: “I welcome the announcement of the British Energy Security Strategy and its particular ambition around low carbon hydrogen. We are already working at pace to deliver a hydrogen ecosystem in the Thames Estuary region that could support thousands of jobs and reduce carbon emissions. In our hydrogen route map, which we launched in October 2021, we identified demand and supply opportunities across a number of sectors and investor requirements.

We are now working hard, with our lead consultant Ikigai Capital, to put in place initiatives which will turn our vision into reality. This includes coordination of key regulatory bodies, building international partnerships, bringing the hydrogen supply chain to the Estuary, supporting innovative technologies and spearheading collaboration between other regions in the UK seeking to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries with low carbon hydrogen.”

The Thames Estuary Hydrogen Route Map, prepared by the Growth Board with Ikigai and DNV, articulates the scope for a hydrogen ecosystem which is compelling and capable of attracting multi-billion-pound investment providing clean energy that will be critical to ensure that the UK hits its net zero targets. The route map identifies an ecosystem capable of reducing carbon emissions by up to 5.9 million tons and solidifying our place as world leaders in green technology. It will also support 9,000 jobs and deliver £3.8bn GVA to the UK economy by 2035.

The Hydrogen Route Map identifies where demand, supply, distribution and storage opportunities exist; outlines requirements of the investment market and pinpoints investment clusters; establishes a broad set of relationships with key stakeholders; and highlights the competitive advantage of locating a hydrogen ecosystem in the Thames Estuary.

One of key sectoral opportunities for hydrogen is greener transport and logistics. We recently launched our Light Freight on the River feasibility study, co-commissioned with the Port of London Authority, that looks at making better use of the river for moving parcels and deliveries. As well as taking vehicles off London’s roads to ease congestion and air pollution, our subsequent work with partners has identified a number of opportunities for hydrogen in making logistics greener.

Across the Thames Estuary region, developments in hydrogen will unlock substantial benefits for people and local economies, attracting more than £2.2billion of investment, and supporting levelling up through job creation. The transition away from fossil fuels will help address issues of poor air quality and improve health and wellbeing.

Thanks to its natural and economic geography and position as a strategic investment partner, the Thames Estuary has the attributes to power the Government’s ambitions of becoming a global player in the hydrogen economy, supporting net zero and Britain’s Energy Security Strategy.