Hydrogen fuels for energy security

Robert Steinberger-Wilckens, Zeynep Kurban, Paul Dodds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The four aspects of energy security – resilience, access to resources, affordability, and sustainability – to a large extent refer to issues of energy supply and especially the access to fuels. The latter three will be discussed at length in this chapter whereas ‘resilience’ of energy systems will be covered to a broader extent in the following Chapter 6. ‘Access to resources’ and ‘affordability’ are short-term goals.
‘Sustainability’, on the other hand, is a long-term goal of policy and aims at no less than the safe and materially secured societal life of many generations to come. Plans for future developments in fuels used in the power supply, heating, and transport fuels sectors need to look into where the primary energy for these sectors is sourced in the long term and how the requirements of emission mitigation and sustainability can be met. At the same time, world market price volatility and access or lack of access to imports influence consumer prices and have to be kept at a level that is accepted by UK citizens. Due to the low standards of energy efficiency, especially in UK housing, energy bills tend to be higher than in other parts of Europe with a recurring theme of ‘energy poverty’. On one hand this could easily be reduced by increasing energy efficiency, on the other hand, it has been widely acknowledged that energy prices are currently too low to, in the long term, introduce the highly efficient technologies that will secure sustainable and affordable heating and electricity supply.
The vast possibilities to produce hydrogen from indigenous energy sources allow for reduction in imports and improvement of long-term security of supply. Hydrogen may also be converted to synthetic fuels based on renewable energy input that are fully compatible with today’s energy infrastructure of natural gas or transport fuels.
Using the existing infrastructure for hydrogen and methane (synthetic natural gas, SNG) substantially reduces the cost of infrastructure conversion and makes best use of existing public assets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe role of hydrogen and fuel cells in delivering energy security for the UK
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Publication series

NameH2FC SUPERGEN Hub White Papers
PublisherH2FC SUPERGEN Hub


  • Hydrogen
  • energy security
  • energy supply
  • energy imports
  • energy resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Fuel Technology


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