Using nuclear power to generate hydrogen could help limit global warming and clean up heavy industries, a report has claimed.
Hydrogen is rapidly turning into the holy grail for environmentalists and big oil companies alike, because the only by-product of its combustion is water. The government is committed to the UK achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The report, by consultancy LucidCatalyst, claims that nuclear power could create hydrogen and “decarbonise aviation, shipping, cement and industry using … proven technologies”. For hydrogen to be affordable and clean, it says, the gas “must be generated from non-fossil sources, at a price which is competitive with cheap oil”.
It reckons the cost of this transition globally would be about $17 trillion by 2050 — versus $70 trillion if renewables such as wind and solar power were used.
The nuclear industry is on a last-ditch lobbying push as ministers prepare to publish a much-delayed energy white paper that will explain how they plan to cut emissions while keeping the lights on — as well as powering the growing fleet of electric cars.