The production facility is responding to a growing demand for hydrogen as a green fuel. Increasing hydrogen production in the UK is crucial to decarbonising some of the heaviest emitting industries including heavy plant, machinery, and industrial heating. Although electrification is a useful tool for reducing the amount of carbon we produce – particularly in domestic settings – it’s not always practical or suitable for power-hungry processes, vehicles, or machinery because of storage costs.
Clean hydrogen is forecast to meet 24% of the world’s energy demand by 2050 with the industry predicted to be worth $2.5tr by this date. With the UK home to leading hydrogen experts and R&D, there are huge opportunities to grow the hydrogen economy, reducing the country’s carbon footprint and increasing green jobs.
The Herne Bay facility will support Transport for London and their fleet of hydrogen buses alongside other UK customers. Planning consent for the site has been granted and development is currently in the detailed engineering phase with the plant set to be fully operational by spring 2023.
Hydrogen production is difficult currently because the only subsidies available are in transport. We expect this to change very quickly over the next few years and for opportunities to open up at every stage of the hydrogen supply chain. It’s the biggest and most exciting economic change that’s likely to happen in the UK in the next 20 years. If I was a young entrepreneur, this is the section of the economy I would be targeting because it will see huge growth and investment over the next 5, 10, 20 years.