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‘Blue hydrogen threatens UK net zero goals’

The UK reliance on blue hydrogen and gas-CCS could undermine net zero targets due to high upstream emissions, according to a new report

The UK government policies promoting blue hydrogen and gas-powered carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects might jeopardise the country’s net zero targets.

These projects allegedly underestimate emissions from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), consuming a substantial portion of the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget.

That’s according to a report by Carbon Tracker, which warns that blue hydrogen and gas-CCS projects will increase gas demand.

If all proposed projects under the UK’s net zero strategy are realised, they could double the projected domestic UK gas production by 2035, the study notes.

This, combined with declining North Sea production and expanding LNG import capacity, will lead to higher LNG imports, especially from the US, which are associated with high carbon emissions.

High upstream emissions could more than triple the carbon intensity of blue hydrogen, surpassing UK and EU low carbon fuel standards.

Even with advanced technology, blue hydrogen from imported LNG could emit up to 2.5 times more than the UK’s low carbon hydrogen standard.

Similarly, the claimed climate benefits of gas-CCS projects are often overstated, with actual emissions reductions potentially 30% to 60% lower than claimed.

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