Net-zero Realities: Hydrogen

Don’t miss
this letter to the Editor, the Daily Telegraph, on 26th June 2023 from Prof Stephen Bush.

The Government should not provide massive subsidies for hydrogen production (report, June 24).

Whatever lobbying has been done, the fact is that hydrogen manufacture, transport and distribution are mature industries. Hydrogen has been used in American space programmes since the 1960s, and is a major ingredient of many basic chemical and food processes. As a domestic fuel it is at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s projected 100-mile linear city along the Red Sea, and 125-mile hydrogen pipelines have been in operation in continental Europe for many years.

In Britain, hydrogen was used to sweeten coal gas, as distributed to domestic customers, for many years, until the advent of natural gas removed the need. Whether we should use it as a constituent of our piped domestic fuel again is a separate question. But there is no more sense in subsidising hydrogen than any other basic chemical like ethylene or chlorine.

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