Unlocking the potential of Hydrogen

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2019 Energy Service Group Conference
21 February 2019

This energy conference welcomes the work UNISON is doing to promote the potential of Hydrogen in the energy system. This includes helping to get the all-party parliamentary group for hydrogen set up, engaging with key stakeholders and informing members of the key issues.

We recognise that while it is imperative that we meet and surpass the climate change targets set for the UK we have to also ensure secure and affordable energy is provided to all and that thousands of good energy jobs are protected.

Hydrogen is a clean fuel which if used in the energy system would decrease significantly the carbon emissions that take place when energy is consumed. It will need to be produced initially through the cleaning of methane gas via steam reformation and carbon capture and storage but eventually it will be able to be produced via electrolysis using renewable energy. The ability to store hydrogen easily makes it a great accompaniment to renewable energy.

Conference is however disappointed and frustrated at the governments lack of planning and action to ensure we have a clean energy future and as each day passes we get closer to a time when it might be too late to effect a proper transition.

Thousands of unionised jobs are at stake in the gas industry that could be put to good use in a national hydrogen programme. UNISON has a good track record in recruiting these workers. These jobs once gone will be hard to replace in the time frame needed to decarbonise the energy system. We cannot let this happen.

Conference therefore calls on the SGE to:

1) Continue to lobby for a hydrogen future for the gas industry which will decarbonise the gas network and protect our energy members jobs and future;

2) Support the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hydrogen;

3) Work with the Labour Party though the UNISON Labour Link to ensure Labour future energy policy includes a clear commitment to a hydrogen gas future;

4) Continue to brief UNISON members on the benefits of Hydrogen Gas.