Central government and industry must act together to provide leadership on the development of hydrogen infrastructure, a new report has said.

The Policy Exchange think tank said leadership must be targeted at lowering the cost of sustainable hydrogen production, with Scotland and Northern England identified as the most suitable sites.

Long-distance lorries hauling freight offer the best short-term opportunity for utilising hydrogen.

Hydrogen produced by electrolysers powered by “spare” wind energy could replace less than 1% of the gas used in domestic heating, but generation using fossil fuels is “incompatible with domestic decarbonisation targets” without carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Choosing applications

Joshua Burke, lead author of the report, said: “Firstly, we need to focus on getting cost-effective, scalable and sustainable production methods to reach mass market.

“Targeting investment towards reducing the high cost of producing large volumes of low-carbon hydrogen is crucial.

“Secondly, we must decide the most appropriate applications of hydrogen within our economy, given potential uses are likely to be highly interconnected and this will have implications for the energy system.”

> Download the report