Up to 17,000 high-tech and green jobs can be created in Britain if £4.4 billion ($6 billion) of planned investments in hydrogen projects are implemented, according to a new study released by Energy Networks Association (ENA).
The Gas Goes Green Innovation Impacts report states that over 9,000 of the jobs would be created by the five gas network companies that have submitted their hydrogen innovation proposals with regulator Ofgem.
An additional 8,000 jobs would be created via supply chain partners.
The majority of these jobs would be in Britain’s industrial heartlands in northwest England, the Humber and Teesside, Southampton, north-east Scotland and south-east Wales.
In addition to creating green jobs, thereby reviving the UK economy from the pandemic and Brexit impacts, expanding the UK’s hydrogen economy would help decarbonise Britain’s six industrial clusters where hard-to-decarbonize industries such as iron, steel, glass and ceramics are located.
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By 2025, the number of green jobs that can be created from the £6.8 billion ($9.42 billion) proposed hydrogen investment by the five gas network operators could rise to 25,000, according to the study. Up to 13,300 of the jobs would be created by network companies directly with a further 11,400 jobs created by supply chain partners.
If £2.2 billion ($3.04 billion) in proposed investment is approved by the regulator to reuse existing gas pipelines for hydrogen transportation could create some 6,700 green jobs in Fife, Cumbria and southern England.
The investment would also enable Britain to build hydrogen villages and towns.
Chris Train, ENA’s Gas Goes Green champion, said: “For the first time, this report sets out the sheer size and scale of the economic and social opportunities that hydrogen innovation can deliver over the next ten years, creating new green, hydrogen super-skills in communities and companies across the country.
“With the recent publication of the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy and the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan before that, the time is right for Ofgem to consider how it can unlock this investment, helping ensure that hydrogen plays its full part in fuelling Britain’s Green Industrial Revolution.”
Chris Manson-Whitton, of HyNet North West, adds: “The UK has the innovation, skill and world-leading infrastructure to be a global leader in the delivery of the hydrogen economy. Our leading industrial partners, such as those in the HyNet North West cluster, are committed to decarbonising their operations and products. Hydrogen enables them to do that, safeguarding jobs and attracting inward investment.”
To forecast the number of jobs that are likely to result from the investments, ENA leveraged the Office for National Statistics methodology to calculate the effects of that investment on direct and supply chain employment.