According to the National Grid FES 2020 documents "Hydrogen and carbon capture and storage must be deployed for net zero. Industrial scale demonstration projects need to be operational this decade."
Hydrogen is in a unique situation in the future of GB energy. Not only will it be produced, but it will be used and stored. It therefore features as a product, a storage medium and a source.
Its uses do or will include:
- Road transport and shipping
- Heating, including home heating
- Many industrial processes
Hydrogen can be produced either by electrolysis using renewable electricity or from natural gas.
At present the hydrogen in use has primarily been produced by using natural gas to reform steam. In order to meet net zero the approach is to very substantially increase hydrogen production and to introduce the production of hydrogen - so called "green hydrogen" - cleanly by electrolysis. What proportion of hydrogen is produced by each alternative means of production varies by National Grid scenario.