The UK government has started to roll out its plans for switching us over from fossil fuels to hydrogen and renewable energy. Should investors buy in?
Not so very long ago, the idea that fossil fuels might be replaced by hydrogen – which when burnt or used in fuel cells to provide energy releases no pollution, but water vapor – was for the birds. It was just too expensive to produce and inefficient when compared with the already available alternatives, and hence all the investment needed to develop the technology and roll out the necessary infrastructure was unlikely to be forthcoming.
Today, hydrogen is rapidly becoming global policy, as Leigh Collins points out on Recharge, and set to become a multi-trillion-dollar industry. China recently approved a massive power project to produce hydrogen. Australia is planning to build a renewable energy hub ten times the size of Greater London to power electrolyzers that produce hydrogen. Countries accounting for more than a third of the world’s population, including India, Russia, and the EU, have hydrogen strategies in place. The US is introducing one “by the back door”, as Collins puts it, with a clause in the country’s giant infrastructure bill. And the UK’s long-awaited hydrogen strategy was finally announced in August. So when will Boris Johnson finally flip the switch on our greener future?
A blue bridge to a green future
Those nervous about the implications of our current energy crisis will be hoping that he treads carefully. Some will even be seeking to weaponize it to force a U-turn away from all the “green crap”, as David Cameron once called it. But that is unlikely, says James Kirkup in The Spectator. Skeptics of “net-zero” – the legally binding commitment that Britain be carbon neutral by 2050 – are a small minority among Tory MPs, most of whom support the prime minister’s green ambition.
Source: Money Week