The British hydrogen strategy was based on close cooperation with European countries. In the hydrogen trade, the United Kingdom is likely to adapt to European rules.
The United Kingdom its Hydrogen strategy Did not explicitly cooperate with the union. However, the document states that trade and contacts with European partners are essential for the success of the strategy.
“Cooperation with our neighbors in the North Sea and Europe will be important because it will support British investment in hydrogen and facilitate regional trade by sharing infrastructure,” the strategy says.
The UK government sees an opportunity to expand “regional chains” in “hydrogen production, storage and transportation” and to work with the North Sea countries.
“We are interested in exploring the potential of pan-European, specialized, hydrogen transport infrastructure and using existing or new connections between the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland which in the future will allow the United Kingdom to trade in hydrogen or low carbon gases,” the industry said. A spokesman for Strategy (BEIS) said.
Another key area of collaboration is research and innovation projects under Horizon Europe, which the Union wants to support with .5 95.5 billion. The United Kingdom is interested in participating in the so-called Industrial Partnership, a joint venture funded by the European Union.
“The United Kingdom has played a key role in the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Venture (FCH JU) and wants to participate in the European contribution to pure hydrogen,” the UK Hydrogen Strategy said.
Brexit will not ease the situation
However, with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, any cooperation with the member states became more difficult.
“Another joint venture will focus on hydrogen production, distribution and end-to-end use.
“The terms of the cooperation depend on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the Union and the United Kingdom,” Biebuyck told EURACTIV.
The first objective of the talks was to clarify the details of the future participation of the United Kingdom in the Union’s research and innovation projects. Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the United Kingdom and the Union, signed on 30 December 2020, the United Kingdom will join Horizon Europe, Switzerland, Norway and 14 other non-EU countries. In return, the United Kingdom contributes about $ 2 billion a year to the project budget. In the states Special News Website Science | Business.
Then, the legal system of the other joint ventures must agree with the union. “The debate will end in the coming months,” Biebuyck said.
“Once the two talks are over, we’ll find out more,” Biebuyck added for Eupactive.
It did not say whether the European Commission in charge of hydrogen strategy or the UK Department were planning meetings to discuss practical aspects of the Union-UK cooperation on hydrogen. The two sides did not specify whether there were ongoing discussions on key issues such as trade and the general definition of low carbon hydrogen.
“We have no immediate opinion on the British strategy,” a European Commission spokesman said. “The international dimension is an integral part of the union’s approach,” he said, asking what concrete steps Brussels is taking to move things forward.
Despite the differences due to Brexit, the UK argues that co-operation with Union member states is a priority and takes place in forums other than the status of the European Commission.
“The Innovation Mission (led by the United Kingdom and the European Union), the Ministerial Initiative for Clean Energy Hydrogen and the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (Hydrogen Initiative, and the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in Economy – IPHE affiliated with IPHEE). We are helping to develop a mutually agreed method for determining emissions, “said Peace.
Hydrogen is green in Europe and blue in the United Kingdom
Analysts say that despite the separation of the Union and the United Kingdom, both sides have adopted similar hydrogen strategies that allow for cooperation in many areas.
Similar to the EU hydrogen strategy presented by the Commission a year ago, the UK Hydrogen Project outlines an “two-way” approach to hydrogen development. This includes the so-called “green” hydrogen obtained by electrolysis of water with the help of “blue” hydrogen from natural gas using electricity from renewable sources and carbon capture technology. Both strategies are aimed at setting the standard for low carbon hydrogen, which is in line with the goal of achieving net zero emissions in Europe by 2050.
The main difference between the strategies is the preference for green and blue hydrogen, adds John Rosno from the Nonprofit Regulatory Assistance Program (RAP).
The European Hydrogen Development Program supports green hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, “the British strategy urges blue hydrogen capture and storage (CCS) to reduce emissions from its production,” Rosno told Euracti.
Another controversial part of the two documents is heating. “The European hydrogen strategy does not envisage a major role for hydrogen in the heating industry, but opens up this possibility of British hydrogen use,” Rosno said.
Nonetheless, “the two strategies of industry, electricity and transport are very well integrated,” Rosno said.
England’s increased emphasis on blue hydrogen leaves more options in the game. This contradicts the exclusive support of renewable hydrogen in European strategy, says Knivomir Fleis, an analyst with the German think tank Agora Energivende.
“By counting fossil fuel-based hydrogen using CCS, the UK will not have to import in the interim until the renewable hydrogen market is operational,” Fliss told EURACTIV.
“The British strategy is less dependent on imports, so the full hydrogen value chain can be created in the domestic market. On the contrary, Germany’s hydrogen strategy speaks openly about the need for imports and aims to create a global supply chain,” Fleis said.
At the same time, Fliss expects CCS-based fossil fuels to be cheaper than renewable hydrogen for the rest of this decade. This means the United Kingdom will need less subsidies to support the transformation of the industry, Fliss said.
“Currently, the total funding for British hydrogen is less than billion 9 billion in Germany, compared to 9 9 billion,” says Flளிs.
Although the Union has a less lax approach to hydrogen than the United Kingdom, its hydrogen strategy has many strengths. These include, in particular, the regulatory framework based on Europe’s vast internal market population of 447 million.
Analysts believe that if Britain wants to import or export hydrogen from Europe, it must comply with the standards applicable in the Union. Brexit will make it more difficult for the UK to implement its hydrogen strategy as the EU develops its own hydrogen policy and regulatory framework.
The differences between the European and British approaches to blue hydrogen will at some point become a source of tension.
“This could lead to political conflicts between the EU and the UK’s vision and the disruption of an integrated hydrogen market across Europe,” said an energy researcher, who did not want to be named.
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