Hydrogen insight series: Accelerating the fuel

Hydrogen accelerating the fuel

At the Carbon Trust we aim to find climate solutions. Our colleagues have in-depth experience and have been active in the hydrogen space for close to a decade. In that time, we have worked with different stakeholders to identify and deliver solutions for the sector.

Our most recent initiative is our new Hydrogen Accelerator. It will provide two core offerings, the Clean Hydrogen Innovation Programme – or CHIP for short, and the Regional Hydrogen Platforms Programme – or RHPP for short. Together both programmes will either directly, or indirectly, address a range of barriers and benefits identified in the second piece of this series. For example, CHIP will directly tackle the barrier of 'high end-to-end costs' by signaling where supply chain innovation is needed to reduce cost. By reducing hydrogen’s end-to-end cost, CHIP indirectly addresses the 'lack of market' barrier by making hydrogen more competitive and attractive to consumers. In a similar vein, CHIP directly builds on the 'energy storage' benefit provided by hydrogen by stimulating the supply chain to innovate storage solutions. If storing energy as hydrogen can become cheaper and more accessible, this indirectly builds on hydrogen’s benefits of 'flexibility', 'system resilience' and 'renewables integration'.  

CHIP was announced in October, with backing from BEIS, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It aims to speed up the deployment of clean hydrogen, by reducing the end-to-end cost through supply chain innovation so that clean hydrogen becomes cost competitive with conventional alternatives. The first phase of CHIP will focus on carrying out an innovation needs assessment to identify key priorities. Based on this information, the second phase will focus on addressing these issues. 

The CHIP model will follow a similar approach to the Carbon Trust’s other highly successful collaborative innovation programmes, including the Offshore Wind Accelerator. These programmes follow our flagship Joint Industry Programme (or JIP) model. Due to our mission-driven, impartial positioning, we at the Carbon Trust are uniquely placed to convene stakeholders to address common challenges. Industry Partners in CHIP’s Steering Group will decide the direction of the programme by collectively agreeing top innovation priorities. Working together in this way sends a strong signal to the supply chain about what the sector needs, whilst driving sector alignment around common pieces of equipment.  

Our JIPs also help Steering Group Partners multiply the power of their innovation spend by sharing costs and reducing research and development risks. When a Partner invests in the supply chain via CHIP, their money goes further, as it’s combined with the investment of other Partners and able to leverage other external funding. In addition to the Steering Group made up of industrial partners, we will also have a group of advisors including stakeholders such as BEIS, Innovate UK and Ofgem. Steering Group partners will have the opportunity to interface with the advisors, getting a first-hand account of how they can support the development of the hydrogen sector. 

We expect to announce more information about the RHPP project in coming months. In the meantime, we can share that while CHIP will look at hydrogen from a national perspective, RHPP will take a regional, bottom-up approach to building up the fuel’s ecosystem. 

We are calling for the industry to engage with the CHIP programme to collaborate and help shape the plan to develop solutions that will accelerate further development of clean hydrogen to meet the UK’s Net Zero energy transition goals.  

Through our Hydrogen Accelerator, we can make the future’s fuel a fuel of today.