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Over half of UK businesses plan to explore hydrogen energy technologies

Written by Thu 19 Oct 2023

A total of 59% of UK businesses plan to explore hydrogen-based fuels and technologies to help aid in the transition to net zero. 

A study by Centrica Business Solutions titled How to tackle risks on the path to net zero stated 24% of firms are already working towards implementing hydrogen solutions. 

Solutions included developing capabilities or putting contracts in place based on hydrogen derived from non-renewable resources, known as blue hydrogen. 

“The transformative potential of hydrogen power systems is no secret. It will play a vital role in achieving a secure, decarbonised power system fit for the future,” said Justin Jacober, Director for the UK and Ireland at Centrica Business Solutions. 

One in 10 businesses have begun developing capabilities to adopt green hydrogen in their business. Over a third of organisations say they are under increasing pressures to address environmental concerns. 

The report found that although planning is taking place, only 2% of businesses said they are currently investing in hydrogen technology. 

When asked what barriers are holding businesses back from investing, the most common response was a lack of technology maturity, coming in at 56%. A total of 43% of respondents said they believed access to funding for the energy transition is still a challenge. 

The report stated organisations are planning to ramp up their strategies to get ahead of regulatory risk. However, many haven’t started on ‘the first step to achieving this’. Only 6% say they are monitoring and reporting on CO₂ emissions to mitigate carbon price risk. 

“Gathering knowledge about the technologies and innovation available in the market is another key action for organisations wanting to progress towards net zero. Being able to make informed plans and implement technology strategies based on data and industry knowledge is critical for organisations,” said Centrica in the report. 

Centrica suggested steps in overcoming regulation, higher carbon cost, and funding problems that businesses may experience. 

 These steps included: 

  • Ensuring a clear understanding on how to accurately report on Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. 
  • Harnessing net zero strategy in conversations with users and business partners. 
  • Quantifying the impact of inaction will have on profit margins and reputation. 
  • Seeking out solutions to funding hurdles. This could include power purchases agreements which effectively shift capital expenses to operations expenditure. 

The UK Government has ramped up its hydrogen commitment by signing an agreement with Germany to accelerate the development of an international hydrogen industry. 

The agreement supports the UK in its pursuit of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The collaboration follows investment by both countries in the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel. 

In the long term, Centrica stressed there will be a greater cost to inaction than to careful planning and budgeting for innovation. 

The research surveyed 300 senior executives from business across a wide range of sizes and sectors and asked about plans for tackling the cost, compliance and technology challenges related to net zero goals. 

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Written by Thu 19 Oct 2023

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