The admission by the Committee on Climate Change that hydrogen is a viable option for the decarbonisation of heat in the UK has been welcomed by an industry spokesperson.

Responding to the publication of Hydrogen in a low-carbon economy, Neil Schofield, Head of Government Affairs at Worcester Bosch, has welcomed the CCC’s conclusion that “hydrogen has potentially valuable roles in replacing natural gas”.

He said: “The CCC, for almost all of its existence, has been a very pro-electrification organisation, promoting the flawed idea that only heat pumps are the future for the UK’s domestic heat market.

“This report does little to counter that view, recommending that hybrid heat pumps powered by a hydrogen fuel electrical generation system are deployed at scale in the near-future.

“Despite this, it is positive to see that the committee has relaxed its stance on electrification slightly and recognised the potential of hydrogen in the decarbonisation of the UK grid.”

The report acknowledges the role of hydrogen in meeting the emissions reductions required by 2050 under the Climate Change Act and the way in which it can be used to heat buildings and provide back-up power generation to meet peak demands.

However, it presents a quotation to install 10 million heat pumps by 2035. That would be 625,000 heat pumps per year if the process began in January 2019, which Schofield called “ludicrious”.

He concluded: “We are now on the cusp of change in the domestic heating market.

“Instead of promoting the wholesale distribution of electrically powered heat pumps, we should be putting our efforts towards transitioning to a 100% hydrogen-powered gas network, beginning with blending a proportion of hydrogen gas into the existing grid.”