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Hydrogen Energy

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 15 December 2020

The 10-point plan set out a comprehensive package to underpin our ambition for 5 GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030. We have also announced a £240 million net zero housing fund and will publish a UK hydrogen strategy next year.

The GMB union has pointed out that one of the simple benefits of the hydrogen strategy is that there is an existing gas network with 24 million homes connected to it, and thousands of jobs can be retained without any retraining schemes. When the Minister brings forward his hydrogen strategy next year, will he bear in mind that the HyNet system in the north-west will be able to deliver 80% of the entire UK target of 5 GW by 2030? Will he resist the temptation, which I mentioned to the Secretary of State yesterday, to play one region off against another, and perhaps increase the amount of money so that we can all share in the benefits?

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. The whole point of a hydrogen strategy is to dovetail nicely with the levelling-up agenda. I know many of the people in the HyNet cluster, which is an excellent cluster doing great work. We hope that those benefits and that innovation can be spread throughout the country and create opportunity the width and breadth of our country.