UK’s Environment Agency publishes guidance on production of green hydrogen

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New guidance published on production of hydrogen from water using electrolysis

The Environment Agency has published guidance on emerging techniques for the production of hydrogen from water using electrolysis.

The guidance – developed in consultation with industry, other UK regulators and other stakeholders – will help businesses design and develop industrial facilities for the production of green hydrogen, a low carbon energy carrier that is a key feature of the UK’s hydrogen strategy.

Operators wishing to produce hydrogen in England will need an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. The guidance will help businesses meet strict requirements that protect the environment and communities before they are granted a permit.

Georgina Collins, Director of Regulated Industry at the Environment Agency, said:

As the UK moves towards its Net Zero goals, the Environment Agency recognises the importance of setting out clear guidance for emerging energy technologies.

As the environmental regulator, our role is to ensure that hydrogen production is conducted in a way that protects people and the environment. This new guidance supports industry in the sustainable and renewable production of a crucial energy source which will help deliver on climate objectives.

The guidance published by the EA helps companies understand the risks that must be managed and outlines the available techniques for preventing or minimising emissions and impacts on the environment.

As well as providing permitting advice to operators, the guidance gives an insight to the public on how environmental regulations and standards are being applied in order to protect communities from risk of harm.

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Hydrogen is a fuel that may be widely used in future for the decarbonisation of transportation, industry and electricity generation. When consumed in a fuel cell, the only product is water. 

Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced using electricity from renewable energy sources. This guidance applies to all emerging techniques for hydrogen production via electrolysis of water.

This follows the announcement by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero of backing for 11 major projects to produce green hydrogen in December.