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Call for your ideas: help power the UKCS with Hydrogen technologies


Vinay Mulgundmath

Vinay Mulgundmath

Chief Technologist

Calling all technology developers! We need your ideas to help power the UKCS with Hydrogen technologies.

Hydrogen may be the smallest molecule, but it packs the highest energy content per kilogram of any fuel. This is why it has significant potential to truly impact the future of a sustainable energy mix and is redefining how we use our natural resources. OGTC is capturing and maximising this opportunity by working with an engaged industry, government, and academic partners. That’s where you come in…

Call for ideas:

To address the innovation gaps in the low TRL (technical readiness level) range, OGTC is calling on technology developers and industry to collaborate with Scottish universities and apply for funding from OGTC to support the acceleration of innovative technology development within the sub-themes of hydrogen production, transportation, storage, and utilisation - learn more here.

Hydrogen technology challenges:

There are four areas where technology innovation will play a key role in addressing some of the gaps and challenges of hydrogen production, these include: optimising the production of blue hydrogen, bulk hydrogen transportation, long-term hydrogen storage and hydrogen/hydrogen carrier utilisation.

  • Nearly 95% of global hydrogen is currently produced using steam methane reformation (SMR) of natural gas. However, the SMR process emits around 8-10 kg CO₂ for each kg of H₂. By coupling carbon capture technology with the SMR process, blue hydrogen can be a bridging technology to meet decarbonisation targets until green hydrogen, from renewable powered electrolysis, emerges into the mainstream. The challenges in this area include increasing the yield of CO₂ capture through new catalyst and adsorber development, modular carbon capture system designs and material fabrication techniques (incl. 3D printing) for reduced capital costs.
  • UKCS accounts for nearly 45,000km of pipeline infrastructure which can be re-purposed for transporting hydrogen. Although the H₂ volumetric density is quite low, estimates suggest that pipeline transport of hydrogen could significantly outperform electricity transmission for long distances by a factor of 10 or more. The technical research and development (R&D) challenges of this area include the suitability of pipeline material, ducting and valves, lack of suitable odorants for Hydrogen and /or natural gas- H₂ blends, and use of Ammonia, Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) derivatives for shipping Hydrogen.
  • To alleviate the drawbacks of intermittent renewables for demand-side response services, UKCS provides a fertile ground for long term storage of bulk hydrogen in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs and salt caverns which need to be investigated and characterised while developing appropriate measuring and monitoring tools for hydrogen detection. From a utilisation perspective, technical challenges include trialling natural gas and hydrogen (or) ammonia blends for decarbonising gas turbines, as well as scaling-up novel solid oxide fuel cells for providing power generation to the offshore and marine sectors.

The opportunity:

This call for ideas compliments other Government initiatives currently underway including the £10billion funding committed for hydrogen under the North Sea Transition deal and the £68million BEIS capital funding for higher TRL technologies under longer duration energy storage demonstration innovation. In addition, the North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme was recently revealed and will establish a world-leading green hydrogen hub on the Cromarty Firth.

By developing your ideas, we can address some of the R&D challenges we face across the hydrogen value chain as we can unlock this vast opportunity and help achieve net zero targets.

Submissions will close on the 14th of May. Don’t miss out on your chance to play a part in our sustainable future, submit your idea below: