Two think tanks are urging the government to speed up incentives for fuel suppliers wanting to offer hydrogen as a low carbon alternative.

The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) and HyCymru (Cymdeithas Fasnach Hydrogen Cymru / Wales Hydrogen Trade Association), which represent hundreds of hydrogen businesses and stakeholders, said there were serious concerns that delays could impact the companies wanting to invest in hydrogen as a low carbon fuel.

The organisations, which met recently to review the progress of hydrogen roll-out in the UK, said that while they welcomed extensions to the government’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) - which now includes hydrogen as a low carbon option fuel for more types of vehicles - more could be done to encourage suppliers.

Celia Greaves, chief executive of the UK HFCA, said: “The RTFO is a vital support for fuel suppliers wanting to offer hydrogen as a low carbon alternative fuel for vehicles as it obligates them to offer a certain percentage of renewable fuels. But currently, hydrogen can only qualify if it is co-produced with renewable electricity.

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“Last year the Department for Transport proposed that renewable electricity and hydrogen production could be separate as long as Power Purchase Agreements are in place. Since then, while other aspects - such as extending the types of vehicles covered by the RTFO - have made progress, we’ve seen no further movement on this.”

The UK HFCA and HyCymru are urging the government to act quickly to confirm that electrolytic hydrogen produced remotely from the point of renewable electricity production will be eligible for Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates.

This will help to stimulate demand in the transport sector, where hydrogen is a key component of the journey to net zero.

It will also complement government efforts to scale up supply of hydrogen and reduce overall risk around the growth of hydrogen in the energy system, the Think Tanks argue.

Greaves said: “Hydrogen is too important a part of the UK’s journey to Net Zero for us to let up on the government. The UK HFCA and HyCymru will continue to do all they can, leading co-ordination with relevant groups to ensure the government receives consistent, practical and expert advice.”