M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 179
Maximising COP26 and the pathways to net zero
Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP
• International investors and the wider private sector should continue to seek opportunities to enable middling and emerging economies to transition as energy producers and decarbonise.
• National Low Emissions Technology Strategies and National Hydrogen Strategies should be developed by every nation. Goals for the deployment of key enabling technologies should be included to set out a clear pathway towards action and to encourage future inward investment.
• Identify, and invest in, those industries where hydrogen can be most immediately effective in order to secure the greatest outcomes in emission reductions. Hydrogen must not be placed in competition with other renewable energy generation but should instead be viewed as a compliment to existing technologies, and ought to add to investment in the expansion of renewable infrastructures.
• Heavy goods shipping, long-haul maritime shipping and heavy industrial manufacture are some industries that would most benefit from the deployment of Hydrogen as a power source. 75% of primary energy usage lies outside the power sector and, as such, it is in these industries where hydrogen can play its most important role.
• Choices must be made with regard to the value of hydrogen in the energy transition. Focusing on the wider immediate deployment of hydrogen across all sectors is unnecessary. Instead, there should be an emphasis on looking at the capacity and capability of technology and making appropriate choices accordingly.
• An international agreement must be created to address the adoption, and trading, of hydrogen. This agreement will need to address the creation of the necessary infrastructure to harness hydrogen’s potential.
• Incentivising demand for clean hydrogen must be a central question for policy makers.
• There must be some form of international acceptance and agreement that all countries should prioritise the cleanest, or green, forms of hydrogen in markets that should value low carbon intensity hydrogen.
• The first priority for international agreement on hydrogen should be to prioritise the decarbonisation of the entire supply of hydrogen. This will require establishing a clear taxonomy and set of regulations concerning hydrogen supply and use.
• A new and accurate internationally agreed measurement for hydrogen (based not upon mode of production, but intensity of carbon emissions generated in production) is needed.
• New hydrogen standards should be adopted internationally and be based on the full life cycle of carbon. This will engender more accurate and fair hydrogen pricing.
• International safety and technical standards must be established. This should include standards for quality and interoperability in hydrogen production as well as transport, storage distribution, and end use.
• Once these standards have been agreed, a new regulatory body (or bodies) will be required to provide assurance of the framework, encouraging public acceptance and confidence in a safe hydrogen market.
• Adopting the latest AER model, Nuclear for Hydrogen should be a strong focus for future policy makers, and a feature of discussion at COP26.
• COP26 should open its eyes to the combined value of nuclear and hydrogen as a complementary strategy alongside renewable energy.