The strategy sets out the foundation for how the UK Government will work with industry to meet the 5GW target, which could replace natural gas in powering around three million UK homes a year as well as decarbonising heavy transport and industry.
The blueprint outlines a “twin track” approach to supporting several technologies including “green” electrolytic and “blue” carbon capture-enabled hydrogen production.
Further detail in 2022 will be revealed on the government’s production strategy.
It will also undertake a review to support the development of the necessary network and storage infrastructure to underpin a thriving hydrogen sector.
Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Today marks the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution.
“This home-grown clean energy source has the potential to transform the way we power our lives and will be essential to tackling climate change and reaching net zero.
“With the potential to provide a third of the UK’s energy in the future, our strategy positions the UK as first in the global race to ramp up hydrogen technology and seize the thousands of jobs and private investment that come with it.”
A UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900m and create over 9000 high-quality jobs by 2030, potentially rising to 100,000 jobs and worth up to £13bn by 2050.
Government analysis suggests that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based, helping to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, a view shared by the UK’s independent Climate Change Committee.
In addition to the Hydrogen Strategy the government has launched a public consultation on a preferred hydrogen business model which, built on a similar premise to the offshore wind contracts for different (CfDs), is designed to overcome the cost gap between low carbon hydrogen and fossil fuels.
The government is also consulting on the design of the £240m Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, which aims to support the commercial deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production plants across the UK.
SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “We strongly welcome the publication of this first-ever Hydrogen Strategy and hope to turn this encouraging strategy into firm and rapid action through our exciting plans.
“These include working with Equinor on the world’s first major hydrogen-fired power station at Keadby and developing hydrogen storage caverns at Aldbrough, as well as our partnership with Siemens to co-locate hydrogen production facilities at our wind farms.
“The strategy is a welcome first step to realising the potential of hydrogen.”