Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Growing the hydrogen economy in the UK - policy and market development, commercialisation and scaling up, and readying infrastructure

Morning, Wednesday, 26th May 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine key policy priorities for supporting the growth of the UK hydrogen industry, and next steps for scaling up infrastructure.

It is taking place in the context of the Government’s Energy White Paper, mapping the approach to energy system development up to 2050, with attention paid to setting targets for hydrogen use, as well as investment and implementation.

The agenda focuses on the development of:

  • the domestic infrastructure, manufacturing and skills base
  • policy, market rules and incentives
  • commercialisation in energy, heating, power generation and transport
  • funding and investment
  • the role of hydrogen in the energy mix and industry decarbonisation into the future

The agenda

  • The developing role of hydrogen in the UK energy mix, and priorities for infrastructure and policy
  • Tackling conversion barriers to hydrogen use across carbon-intensive sectors - repurposing legacy assets, blending clean gas for heat, and working towards net-zero
  • Policy to support hydrogen rollout and a route to deploying 5GW by 2030 - long-term guidance for industry, innovation priorities, and affordability
  • Establishing the domestic base for hydrogen manufacture - leadership, skills and job creation, and opportunities for regional growth
  • ‘Mobilising the domestic hydrogen market - the design of government support for new hydrogen projects and stimulating near term demand’
  • Tackling barriers to cost-effective large-scale hydrogen power generation and supply - carbon gas grids, and preparing networks and energy infrastructure for hydrogen at a local and national level
  • Contributing to net-zero targets - the role of hydrogen in carbon capture, usage and storage capabilities, and decarbonising energy-intensive facilities
  • ‘Aviation opportunities for innovation and hydrogen deployment’
  • Overcoming funding barriers to hydrogen-economy projects - de-risking inward investment, allocating risk, and increasing stakeholder confidence
  • ‘Ofgem’s role in Hydrogen’

Key areas for discussion:

Hydrogen development for the long term - strategy, policy, support and guidance for industry:

  • designing a holistic strategy for the hydrogen economy - discussing next steps, including:
    • identifying key opportunities for hydrogen in the energy mix
    • schemes for industry engagement
    • a route to achieving the 5GW production target for 2030
  • integrating hydrogen into low-carbon pathways - including looking at:
    • the potential for hard-to-decarbonise sectors, like heat and transport
    • what is needed to establish hydrogen as a reliable component of the net-zero transition
    • strategies for accelerating wider adoption
  • commercialising and delivering hydrogen technologies - addressing cost and other challenges, sharing best practice and lessons from adjacent sectors, and keeping costs affordable for taxpayers

Priorities for scaling hydrogen deployment - looking across the energy system, including modernising infrastructure for large-scale clean gas:

  • addressing commercialisation and technical barriers:
    • hydrogen use across energy-intensive sectors
    • lowering cost and scale barriers to power generation
    • reducing reliance on grey hydrogen, and barriers to hydrogen blending across the heating system
  • developing the hydrogen economy industry:
    • fuel and carbon repurposing
    • utilising latest approaches to blue hydrogen generation
    • pathways to lowering technical barriers for carbon capture, usage and storage
    • the scope of export potential for industrial clean gas supplies
  • preparing network infrastructure and capacity - discussing key steps including:
    • facilitation of hydrogen integration across transmission and distribution lines
    • delivering locally-led modernisation programmes
    • enabling the potential of clean gas flexibility
  • legacy offshore oil and gas assets - the potential for hydrogen as part of the decarbonisation process, including:
    • the scope for repurposing fossil fuel extraction facilities
    • carbon supplies for hydrogen conversion
    • options for pairing with offshore renewable technologies and generating ‘green’ hydrogen

Establishing business cases:

  • hydrogen market development:
    • analysis of opportunities in key sectors, such as power, heating and transport
    • growing the domestic skills and industrial base
    • communication and securing engagement with the wider economy on opportunities and benefits 
  • setting standards for market entry:
    • regulatory arrangements for hydrogen supply and technologies
    • reducing barriers for market access
    • de-risking investment and supporting industry and investor confidence
  • incentives and subsidies:
    • latest thinking on their role and design
    • options and strategies for public-private project support
    • the potential use of finance mechanisms and market schemes like contracts for difference (CfDs)
  • enabling regional leadership in UK hydrogen sector development, including:
    • ensuring adequate local infrastructure and industry capacity
    • innovation and coordination with locally-based universities and research centres
    • advocating the role of hydrogen development in supporting regional economic growth and job creation

A scan of relevant developments:

  • the Energy White Paper - outlining the Government’s approach to energy system development up to 2050, with specific attention paid to hydrogen, including:
    • targets - including 5GW for low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030
    • investment - funding for early-stage technology commercialisation
    • implementation - enabling hydrogen to provide long-term integration across the energy system
  • the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution:
    • setting out the Government’s ambition for all parts of the energy-intensive and production economy
    • including the role of hydrogen as part of net-zero, as well as the expected publication of a Hydrogen Strategy in 2021
  • the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy  with: 
    • a commitment to establishing a policy framework that best ensures the transition of industry to low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen
    • funding for:
      • engineering and design studies across the UK focused on the rollout of decarbonisation infrastructure, including hydrogen, from the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge
      • two projects in the North West of England designed to decarbonise industry, through hydrogen and carbon capture and storage respectively
      • creating a net-zero industrial hub in the Humber region using both hydrogen and carbon capture and storage
      • the deployment of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage within industry across the region 
  • Business models for low carbon hydrogen production - the BEIS-commissioned report on development of the market and business plans, including supporting investor confidence, reducing market barriers, and bringing hydrogen into incentive schemes like CfDs
  • Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply Competition - aimed at commercialising hydrogen technologies ready for market adoption, use across different sectors, and reducing development costs
  • the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund - £315m in grants for the integration of decarbonisation technology with industrial users, as well as supporting the development of hydrogen solutions to energy-intensive stakeholders
  • Hy4Heat Innovation Programme - with the announcement that the UK’s first homes with appliances fuelled wholly by hydrogen will be constructed in Gateshead
  • Emissions-cutting trucks and next-gen hydrogen buses closer to hitting the road - £54m funding announced by the Government which includes £11.2m to support the development and manufacture of hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses in Ballymena, Northern Ireland
  • Over £30 million government investment to boost batteries and hydrogen vehicles - the Government announcement of funds to support research into hydrogen vehicles, the electric vehicle supply chain, and battery technology
  • North Sea Transition Deal - the Government has committed to investing between £14bn and £16bn in new energy technologies, including within the hydrogen sector, and has committed to supporting up to 40,000 supply chain jobs in decarbonising UKCS, and within CCUS and the hydrogen sector
  • recent developments in the automotive and transport industry - including:
    • the Tees Valley Hydrogen Hub - a pilot project aimed at powering local retail and transport backed by the Government with £3m investment
    • hydrogen-powered buses entering service in Aberdeen, and Siemens announcing its support for the production of hydrogen vehicles in Wales

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from both Houses of Parliament and officials from Defra; BEIS; the Department for International Trade; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Transport; the Environment Agency; the Health and Safety Executive; the National Audit Office; the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales; The Scottish Government; UK Export Finance; and the Welsh Government.

Press passes have been reserved by representatives from Argus Media; ICIS; Montel News; Motorsport Monday; Motor Transport Magazine; NS Energy; and The Environment Magazine.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from stakeholders involved with or affected by developments in the hydrogen industry including energy companies and their advisors, environmental groups, urban and city planners, technology and innovation platforms, architecture firms and property developers, local government, researchers from academia and higher education, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Jan-Willem Bode

Partner, Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure, Guidehouse

Keynote Speakers

James Richardson

Chief Economist, National Infrastructure Commission

Dr Katriona Edlmann

Chancellor’s Fellow - Energy, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh

Jan-Willem Bode

Partner, Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure, Guidehouse


Dr Alan Whitehead MP

Shadow Minister for Energy and the Green New Deal

Sir Roger Gale MP

Vice Chair, Hydrogen All-Party Parliamentary Group


Richard Halsey

Director of Capabilities, Energy Systems Catapult

Professor Joe Howe

Executive Director, Thornton Energy Research Institute, University of Chester and Chair, North West Hydrogen Alliance

Chris Train

Gas Goes Green Champion, Energy Networks Association

Michael Wagner

Deputy Director, Gas Networks Price Controls, Ofgem

Carrie Harris

Head of Sustainability, British Airways

Mark Knowles

Head of Low Carbon Economy, Liverpool City Region LEP

Gunther Newcombe

Former Director of Operations, Oil & Gas Authority & currently Project Coordinator, ORION Project, contracted to Shetland Island Council

Dr Jenifer Baxter

Director, Innovation and Policy and Head of Protium Wales, Protium Green Solutions

Ross Fairley

Partner, Burges Salmon

Dr Sarah Deasley

Director, Frontier Economics

Associate Professor Kirstie Simpson

Deputy Dean, Chester Business School

Chris Jackson

Chair, UK Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association