Teesside: the heartland of the UK’s energy transition Teesside is perfectly placed to become a world-class, low-carbon energy hub and is an excellent test bed for bp’s hydrogen ambitions
Matt Williamson bp
B p is in the midst of a sweeping reimagining energy for people and our planet. And in doing so, we aim to reduce carbon emissions from our operations and production, and build new low-carbon businesses. We are committing significant resources to that transition – from an oil and gas company to an integrated energy company. We want to rapidly become a market leader in low-carbon energy by developing 20 GW of renewable power by 2025 and 50 GW by the end of the decade. Clean energy sources like wind, solar, and biofuels will play an important role. But hydrogen will also play a crucial role in bp’s transition. The transformation to help the world reach net zero. We are committed to our aim of industrial and commercial use of low-carbon hydrogen energy is still nascent, but its potential to help drive decarbonisation is massive. We think it will be a vital part of the energy transition, and we are not alone – according to the IEA, hydrogen could provide 10% of total global energy consumption by 2050. The bp Energy Outlook suggests that the share of low-carbon hydrogen could reach between 6% and 8% of total global energy consumption by 2050 in its “Accelerated” and “Net Zero” scenarios (bp, 2022), with total hydrogen demand – including that used to produce synthetic fuels and generate power – nearly double this. It is clear that hydrogen will play a vital role in helping to reduce carbon from the global economy. Yet it will be most important for carbon-intensive sectors where electrification will be difficult and, therefore, an unrealistic option. In heavy industry, for example, hydrogen can be used as a power source to decarbonise
high-temperature processes used in steel and cement production, refining, and petrochemicals. And in the transport sector, where ships and HGVs carry heavy loads for great distances, hydrogen and its derivatives have great potential as low-carbon fuels. The world is also coming together on hydrogen. The technology is advancing, our understanding is developing every day, and government support is building. This is why bp is aiming to capture 10% of the hydrogen market by 2030 in our core markets. One of those core markets is bp’s home, the UK, where we are committed to championing the development of a hydrogen ecosystem. We believe Teesside, in the North East of England, is perfectly positioned for the development of decarbonisation infrastructure. There are a number of reasons for this. First, the Teesside industrial cluster (see Figure 1 ) is in a tightly packed area with a radius of seven square kilometres, making it cost effective and efficient to decarbonise. The region is already a UK energy hub, with access to gas from the UK North Sea, helping ensure national energy security. Importantly, Teesside also has a rich industrial history and is home to five of the country’s 25 top emitters. It is the perfect test bed for industrial decarbonisation at scale. Blue hydrogen A key element of our vision is H2Teesside – a world-scale blue hydrogen project aiming to produce 1 GW of hydrogen, ramping up in two 500 MW phases in 2027 and 2030. It will produce hydrogen from natural gas, with up to 2 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions, which will be stored safely underground.
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