Following the launch of the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy, temporary utilities equipment specialists Aggreko is reminding businesses of the importance of adopting more sustainable generator procurement strategies in the short-to-medium term to avoid disruption.
The plans, which were recently unveiled by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, demonstrates government aims to attract investment in five gigawatts of hydrogen production by 2030. Part of wider country-wide decarbonisation efforts, it suggests hydrogen could be responsible for 20-35% of the UK’s energy mix by 2050, representing a clean alternative to fossil fuels for energy-intensive industries.
This move toward hydrogen could pose a challenge to sectors previously reliant on sources such as oil and gas, including manufacturing, processing and construction. As green policy continues to come into force, organisations need to begin preparing for upheaval related to power supplies and look into strategies to help navigate these changes, says Chris Rason, Managing Director at Aggreko Northern Europe.
“The publication of this new strategy is welcome news, but as with all long-term plans, lots of work will be required to reach these ambitious targets and integrate hydrogen into the national energy mix,” explains Chris. “The potential for disruption to business operations and energy supplies when adopting new technologies is clear, especially if key stakeholders are unfamiliar with them.
“Consequently, though the strategy’s aims may seem far-off, it is vital companies begin to look into greener energy sources such as hydrogen, and how they fit into their long-term industrial plans.”
To help alleviate disruption during this adoption period, equipment suppliers have accelerated their investments in hydrogen technology. Aggreko, for example, have developed 50 kVA, Stage V-compliant hydrogen combustion gensets that produce near to no NOx emissions, and a 45 kVA hybrid solution consisting of a hydrogen cell integrated with battery storage. Yet with generator and energy storage technologies advancing rapidly in this area, adopting an agile equipment procurement strategy could help smooth the transition and reduce the risk of stranded assets, says Chris.
“UK businesses are only at the beginning of their hydrogen journey, so it is vital that utilities equipment suppliers provide the support and knowledge needed to apply the best possible solutions,” concludes Chris. “This is why we are committed to becoming net zero in our own operations by 2030 and reducing the amount of fossil fuel used in customer solutions by 50% in that time period. By offering clean technologies such as hydrogen, we intend to practice what we preach in both the short and long term.
“Yet with innovation continuing apace in this sector, a similarly fast-moving equipment procurement strategy, underpinned by third-party expertise, may be required to ensure operations remain as efficient and disruption-free as possible. Consequently, we would encourage key stakeholders to consider innovative hiring strategies while adapting to changes laid out in this new Hydrogen Strategy.”