Today hydrogen has very limited use as an energy carrier in the UK. The hydrogen supply chain that does exist is almost exclusively for the chemical industry, with the hydrogen predominantly transported by vehicle in liquid or compressed form. The pipelines that do exist are used to move hydrogen relatively short distances and at relatively low volumes within the confines of chemical plants. Hydrogen is stored in reasonably large quantities in salt caverns, helping to balance somewhat intermittent consumption with the much steadier output from production plants. At present, hydrogen is predominantly produced from natural gas using a process known as steam methane reforming (SMR) but can be produced in a number of ways and from a variety of sources.
the ability to supply hydrogen from low carbon sources and the infrastructure to move it to demand locations are crucial to delivering hydrogen to any sector. Building an infrastructure to move hydrogen for use as an energy carrier would be starting from virtually nothing. Major investment will be needed to make this a reality, both in equipment and in the growth of a supply chain to deliver it. this will take time to establish. commitments around future demand for hydrogen, and the ability to produce it from low carbon sources, inevitably dictate an incremental approach which limits major infrastructure investment until demand and low carbon supply are further established.