Offshore wind is the star of this report by the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, which proposes a roadmap for combining offshore wind and green hydrogen in the UK to support the UK’s net zero ambitions.

The report’s modelling indicates that at least 675GW of offshore wind capacity exists in UK waters, which is well above the volume projected to be required for the UK’s electricity needs. Offshore wind therefore has the potential to be harnessed beyond its existing electricity generation purposes. There is currently enormous momentum behind clean hydrogen as the “missing piece of the puzzle” for the world’s net zero ambitions, and the UK’s offshore wind resource could provide a route to a sizeable domestic green hydrogen market, as well as supporting an energy export industry.

The report sets out a roadmap for seizing these opportunities through:

  • creating R&D programmes focussing in particular on electrolyser development
  • supporting demonstration projects proving use of green hydrogen in a variety of different sectors such as mobility and heat
  • regulatory reform, both in terms of industry-wide policy support for the development of the green hydrogen market and targeted regulatory changes to enable the development of critical infrastructure in key sectors such as transport and heat

The report also foresees opportunities for an energy export industry for the UK which would build on the skills and assets from its oil and has industry, but calls on the UK Government to devise a national strategy to support the creation of this industry.

With appropriate political and regulatory support, offshore wind and hydrogen can form a powerful partnership in the push for net zero.