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Hydrogen Production

Volume 701: debated on Tuesday 21 September 2021

My hon. Friend the Member for Warrington South (Andy Carter) asks a timely question; he may be aware that the United Kingdom recently published a hydrogen strategy outlining the Government’s comprehensive package to incentivise low-carbon hydrogen, and a broader plan to help the wider hydrogen economy to develop.

The recent increase in wholesale energy prices strengthens the case for investing in hydrogen in the north-west of England. May I urge the Minister to come to Warrington and see the businesses that rely on intensive use of energy, and rapidly progress hydrogen and the HyNet scheme to produce carbon capture and storage in the UK, so that businesses such as Novelis Recycling and Solvay Interox are able to decarbonise rapidly?

My hon. Friend is a doughty champion for the north-west and his constituency of Warrington. The Secretary of State has said to me that one of the ministerial team would be happy to visit. I think the Secretary of State would be happy to do that—indeed, I think he has already visited. As my hon. Friend is aware, many of the decisions around this matter are currently under way, so I am not going to comment on them at this point. At the end of the process, we will have a low-carbon hydrogen economy to be proud of.

I welcome my hon. Friend to his place. Teesside already produces more than 50% of the UK’s commercially viable hydrogen. What assessment has he made of the benefits of the recently signed deal between BP, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Masdar for the Tees valley? Does he support the phenomenal work being done locally by Ben Houchen to revolutionise our green energy sector?

The benefits will be huge. This work is another example of the fantastic Conservative Tees valley team led by my hon. Friend, supporting Darlington, and the Mayor, and it demonstrates what we can do in an area to level up and improve it for the long term.