The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is being urged to consider the future of hydrogen power in the UK by businesses and MPs in an open letter from campaign group Hydrogen Strategy Now.
The letter is urging plans to be made to develop a “clear, strategic plan that will unlock significant private investment in hydrogen technologies and manufacturing across the country, driving growth and creating green jobs.”
The government has already announced plans to increase the number of electric car charging points across the country as part of the Rapid Charging fund which includes a £500 million investment into the EV charging infrastructure.
However, the letter claims the UK has the potential to become a global leader in renewable and low-carbon hydrogen technology and is telling the government that swift action will be needed to achieve the maximum economic benefit.
Currently there are a very limited number of hydrogen fuel cell cars in Britain with Toyota and Hyundai being the only manufacturers embracing the technology with their Mirai and Nexo models respectively. BMW, who partners with Toyota for fuel-cell technology, and Mercedes have both hinted at hydrogen models being added to their line-ups in the future and even Jaguar Land Rover have suggested that the technology might be a more viable option to electric for larger vehicles.
According to the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, there are only 13 hydrogen filling stations in the UK, with two more in the planning stage.
The open letter claims the global hydrogen economy is estimated to be worth $2.5 trillion by 2050, supporting 30 million jobs. Currently, the Hydrogen Strategy Now collective, is made up of more than 40 companies that employ around 100,000 people and have a combined value of £100bn in the UK and is ready to invest up to £1.5bn in hydrogen projects.