Decarbonising hydrogen in a net zero economy

Today, we publish an independent report, commissioned by Urenco, to investigate the benefits of the deployment of both renewables and nuclear to support decarbonisation and reduce reliance on fossil fuels as a transitional fuel source in GB.

The report, called Decarbonising Hydrogen in a Net Zero Economy, has been supported by the IAEA, EDF and Lucid Catalyst and is available via the button below. The scenarios presented in this report are not Aurora forecasts but exploratory scenarios to assess a wider range of technology mixes.

The report follows the UK Government’s Hydrogen Strategy, published in August 2021. The Hydrogen Strategy stated that nuclear-hydrogen provides a number of options for producing clean hydrogen, but did not model the costs and competitiveness of nuclear’s contribution.

The key findings include:

  • To facilitate rapid decarbonisation and cut dependency on fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables are both needed for power and hydrogen production.
  • Together, nuclear and renewables can provide the hydrogen volumes needed for net zero in 2050.
  • Deploying large volumes of nuclear alongside renewables is economically efficient, reducing the net present value of total system spend by 6-9% (£40-60bn) to 2050.
  • Combining hydrogen and nuclear leads to competitive costs. Using heat and electricity together from a nuclear power plant for hydrogen production provides a strong cost advantage.
  • Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions to 2050 can be reduced by 80 MtCO2e and gas usage in power and hydrogen by 8k TWht.

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