Clean hydrogen accelerator receives UK government backing

Pipeline and energy lines

The project will join up industry players, backed by BEIS, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Clean Hydrogen Innovation Programme (CHIP) aims to speed up the deployment of clean hydrogen, by reducing the end-to-end cost through technical innovation so that it becomes cost competitive with conventional alternatives.

Clean hydrogen is defined as hydrogen that is produced with a low level of greenhouse gas1, for example using surplus renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called electrolysis. 

The model used for this accelerator will follow the same approach as other highly successful collaborative innovation programmes run by the Carbon Trust, including the Offshore Wind Accelerator which has helped to reduce the cost of offshore wind and accelerate growth.

The high end-to-end cost of clean hydrogen is one of the main barriers to its use. CHIP’s key focus will be on reducing the costs and risks of clean hydrogen through targeting technology innovation at components where industry identify there is the highest cost reduction potential. 

Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Chair of the Carbon Trust said: 

“This new clean hydrogen accelerator fills a gap in the current innovation landscape by focusing on stimulating the supply chain. It will play a vital role in ensuring the UK can reach its Net Zero targets.”

The first phase of CHIP will focus on carrying out an innovation needs assessment to identify key priorities for its initial work. Based on this information, the second phase will focus on addressing these issues by stimulating the supply chain through competitive innovation calls. CHIP will receive initial funding from BEIS2 alongside contributions from industry participants. 

Minister for Climate Graham Stuart said: 
“We are determined to unlock the potential of hydrogen as a clean, home grown energy source, helping transform our economy and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. 

“This new programme will help accelerate the development of the UK’s hydrogen sector, supporting the creation of new jobs and bringing in new investment.”

The Carbon Trust is calling for the industry to engage with the programme now to help collaborate and shape the plan to develop solutions that will accelerate further development of clean hydrogen to meet the UK’s net zero energy transition goals. 

  1. BEIS defines low carbon hydrogen as hydrogen that "meet[s] a GHG emissions intensity of 20g CO2e/MJLHV of produced hydrogen or less" in the Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard.
  2. Funding from BEIS is via permission to use proceeds from previous low carbon investments that are held by the Carbon Trust on behalf of BEIS for this project.
Notes to editors

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About the Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a global climate consultancy driven by the mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. We have been pioneering decarbonisation for more than 20 years for businesses, governments, and organisations. Drawing on a network of over 400 experts internationally, the Carbon Trust guides organisations through their journey to Net Zero. From strategic planning and target setting to delivery, activation, and communication - we provide smarter ways to turn intent into impact.