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UK Low carbon Hydrogen Standard (draft)

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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Apr 13, 2022

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To support the implementation of the UK Hydrogen Strategy and Energy Security Strategy, the UK Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard (‘the standard’) defines what constitutes ‘low carbon hydrogen’ at the point of production.

The standard sets out in detail the methodology for calculating the emissions associated with hydrogen production and the steps producers are expected to take to prove that the hydrogen they produce is compliant. The intent of the standard is to ensure new low carbon hydrogen production supported by government makes a direct contribution to GHG emission reduction targets under the Climate Change Act.

Hydrogen producers proving compliance with the standard are required to: • meet a GHG emissions intensity of 20gCO2e/MJLHV of produced hydrogen or less for the hydrogen to be considered low carbon. • calculate their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to the ‘point of production’, accounting for the following emissions components: 𝐸𝐸T = 𝐸𝐸feedstock supply + 𝐸𝐸energy supply + 𝐸𝐸input materials + 𝐸𝐸process+ 𝐸𝐸fugitive non-CO2 + 𝐸𝐸CCS process and infrastructure – 𝐸𝐸CO2 sequestration + 𝐸𝐸compression and purification • account for the emissions associated with meeting a theoretical minimum pressure level of 3MPa and a theoretical minimum purity of 99.9% by volume at the production plant gate, in the emissions calculations. • include emissions associated with capture, compression, transport, and storage of CO2 in the emissions calculation: while some of the associated infrastructure may be located outside the point of production, the related emissions were generated through the hydrogen production and are considered within the scope of the standard. • account for the use of electricity: o Using actual data to demonstrate that the electrolyser is operating at the same time as the electricity input source. o Evidencing hydrogen producers have exclusive ownership of the electricity used to cover the amount of electrolytic hydrogen produced. • set out a risk mitigation plan for fugitive hydrogen emissions including: o Risk Reduction Plan: Produce a plan demonstrating how fugitive hydrogen emissions at the production plant shall be minimised. o Risk Plan: Provide estimates of expected rates of remaining fugitive hydrogen emissions by the plant. (Noting that these are not accounted for in the GHG emissions calculation above). Page | 4 o Risk Monitoring: Prepare a monitoring methodology for fugitive hydrogen. • and meet additional requirements for the use of biogenic inputs, where relevant and as appropriate for the feedstock source and classification: o demonstrate compliance with the land, soil carbon and forest criteria. o satisfy the minimum waste and residue requirement. o report on estimated indirect land-use change (ILUC) GHG emissions (noting that these are not accounted for in the GHG emissions calculation above).

This document describes the methodology to calculate GHG emissions associated with the production of low carbon hydrogen in the UK and sets out the specific criteria for several hydrogen production pathways: • Electrolysis. • Natural gas reforming (with carbon capture and storage). • Biomass/waste conversion to hydrogen (with/without carbon capture and storage).



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