Mike Foster, CEO of the not-for-profit trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), has called on the UK Government to get on with delivering the vision it laid out in 2019 to make the UK a ‘world-leading hydrogen economy’.
Mr Foster’s call follows that of FTSE 250 boss Liam Condon of Johnson Matthey, who told the Financial Times that the UK has fallen behind others in the hydrogen energy race.
Mr Foster said: “The UK Government needs to stop dithering and get a grip otherwise it will lose yet more of our industrial base as investors will go elsewhere. It’s a time old problem, we have the good ideas, we develop them ready to go and Whitehall bureaucracy holds up progress so investment goes overseas instead.
“We have great British businesses ready to power forward with a hydrogen future; we have great British trade unions fully backing them; a united British industrial sector poised to be world leaders and a British bureaucracy determined to stop it.
“Hydrogen suppliers need the confidence to invest by knowing domestic demand will be there. The gas networks want to end fossil fuels and deliver hydrogen to homes instead. The gas boiler manufacturers want to convert appliances to run on hydrogen. All united to meet our climate obligations. Yet we still wait on Whitehall bureaucrats to give the green light.”
He continued: “The consultation on hydrogen-ready boilers was promised last year and we are still waiting. The Energy Bill, delivering hydrogen villages, has been paused and we are waiting to see what happens next. Both these policies are needed to stop consumers being ripped off in the name of Net Zero.
“Having a hydrogen-ready boiler means the consumer doesn’t have to shell out tens of thousands of Pounds to go green – they can wait for the gas to be switched to hydrogen instead. No more ripping boilers off walls or radiators replaced, just a simple in-home conversion.”
Energy and Utilities Alliance