Is the United Kingdom’s hydrogen strategy an effective low carbon strategy?

Is the United Kingdom’s hydrogen strategy an effective low carbon strategy?

Francine Baker

Open University & Wolfson College, Oxford

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The United Kingdom’s (UK) clean energy shift to ensure low-carbon and affordable energy supply is regulated by the Energy Act 2013 and the electricity market reform programme. To further this energy shift and to reduce the UK’s dependence on natural gas as an energy source, the (UK) launched its Hydrogen Strategy on 17 August 2021. The rationale for the Strategy is that hydrogen gas is a clean and efficient source of fuel, there is an abundance of hydrogen and that changing from natural gas to hydrogen gas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The question raised is whether the Government’s objective of the use of Hydrogen to replace natural gas is an effective strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions caused by heating. The scope of this paper does not include an examination of the role of the oil industry as an energy source. This paper will firstly explain how the UK came to be dependent on the use of natural gas by briefly outlining the history of its development as a form of energy in the UK. It will then focus on considering the advantages and disadvantages of the use of natural gas and of alternatives in the UK for heating. It will assess the efficacy of hydrogen as an alternative to the use of natural gas in the UK for providing energy for heating in terms of reducing its carbon footprint and therefore protecting the environment and the economy.


Hydrogen, natural gas, low carbon, environment


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