Offshore Wind and Hydrogen - Solving the Integration Challenge

Offshore Wind and Hydrogen - Solving the Integration Challenge looks at the economic opportunities and viability of combining offshore wind with hydrogen in the UK. The report has been conducted by Periscope partner Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

The combination of offshore wind and green hydrogen provides major opportunities for job creation, economic growth and regional regeneration as well as attracting inward investment, alongside delivering the emission reductions needed to achieve climate neutrality. In order to get to Net Zero emissions in 2050, the UK is likely to need a minimum of 75GW of offshore wind (OSW), and modelling of the energy system indicates that hydrogen will play a major role in integrating the high levels of OSW on the electricity grid.

Some of the key findings from report are listed below:

  • The UK has vast resources of offshore wind, with the potential for over 600GW in UK waters, and potentially up to 1000GW. This is well above the he figure of 75-100GW likely to be needed for UK electricity generation by 2050.
  • The universities in the UK provide the underpinning science and engineering for electrolysers, fuel cells, and hydrogen, and are home to world-leading capability in these areas.
  • In order to achieve cost reduction and growing a significant manufacturing and export industry, it will be crucial to develop green hydrogen in the next 5 years
  • By 2050 green hydrogen can be cheaper than blue hydrogen. With accelerated deployment, green hydrogen costs can be competitive with blue hydrogen by the eary 2030s.
  • The combination of additional OSW deployment and electrolyser manufacture alone could generate over 120,000 new jobs. These are are expected to be based mainly in manufacturing OSW-related activity, shipping and mobility
  • By 2050, it is estimated that the cumulative gross value added (GVA) from supply of electrolysers and additional OSW farm could be up to £320bn, where the majority will come from exports of electrolysers to overseas markets.

The report also calls for immediate government intervention and a new national strategy to support the creation of supply and demand in the new industry.

This study was jointly supported by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and ORE Catapult.

By Anna Lygre Solvang