28 March 2022

Round-Up of Gigastack Phase 2 Report Launch and Webinar at COP26


In November 2021, the Gigastack project passed a major milestone with the launch of the consortium’s Phase 2 Public Report. This document highlights the significant progress made throughout the funded Gigastack Phase 2 project and describes the pathway to a final investment decision and commercial operation of a 100MW scale electrolyser system powered by offshore wind in 2025.

The report was launched at the Energy Transition Hub, part of COP26 in Glasgow. The Energy Transition Hub, jointly organised in partnership between Energy UK and Renewable UK, aimed to demonstrate the full scale of the energy transition that the UK energy industry has undertaken so far. Each day there were a series of livestreamed debates, speeches and presentations on key energy themes such as offshore wind deployment, energy grid flexibility, decarbonising heating, and scaling up renewable hydrogen in the UK.

The Gigastack Consortium announced the launch of the Public Report on the final day of COP26, presenting a session on ‘how the UK is demonstrating the potential for green hydrogen’. This session was hosted by Jane Cooper, Director of Regulatory and External Affairs at Ørsted, and included a keynote address from Lia Nici, MP for Great Grimsby, who stated that the Humber is a “vast and important industrial base in the UK, but because of our large industries such as steel production, chemicals and refining, we are also the UK’s biggest region for CO2 emissions”. These industries are “vitally important for levelling up the Government’s agenda to make sure that we have high-quality, high-skilled jobs across the UK”, which is “why the Gigastack project is particularly important. It is an exemplar in industry to show how different businesses can come together to come up with solutions” with the Gigastack project able to reduce carbon emissions and enable a “cleaner, greener industry in the future”.

Following this, Alison Conboy, Deputy Director Hydrogen Production at BEIS, gave an overview of BEIS’s hydrogen strategy and their next steps to support renewable hydrogen. She stated that renewable hydrogen “will be essential for meeting net zero, particularly given the UK Government’s ambitions to quadruple our capacity for offshore wind. It is clear that renewables-driven hydrogen production is going to be extremely important in the UK”. BEIS intends to have 500MW of UK renewable hydrogen production installed or in construction by 2025, supported through the Hydrogen Business Model and Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.

The session also hosted a panel of Gigastack partners and industry experts, while Graham Cooley, CEO at ITM Power, shared a video tour of the new ITM Power Gigafactory at Bessemer Park, highlighting the important role that renewable ‘green’ hydrogen will play in the UK’s energy transition to net zero.

Jenny Sutcliffe, Principal Consultant Regulatory Affairs at Phillips 66, spoke about Phillips 66’s approach for developing the ‘Refinery of the Future’ at the Humber Refinery and the importance of Gigastack as part of these plans. Gigastack “provides the first stepping stone” to decarbonising large industrial clusters. She stated that Gigastack “will create 180 jobs and add £270 million of GVA to the local economy” for the 100MW case with further opportunities to scale up and provide additional benefits.

Alistair McConville, project lead for Gigastack at Ørsted highlighted some of the key achievements made as part of Gigastack Phase 2 in 2020 and 2021, culminating in the launch of the Public Report. He remarked that “system integration is key to the build out of further renewable assets”, supporting the UK’s ambitious 2030 targets for offshore wind deployment, where “renewable hydrogen can act as flexible demand” for the future of the UK’s energy system.

Clare Jackson, CEO of Hydrogen UK, commented on the need to rapidly scale renewable hydrogen production in the UK, and that Gigastack shows how the UK “can scale green hydrogen, and can get it to a place where it’s going to be affordable”. She stated that “the UK has an opportunity to take a leading role” for hydrogen globally, providing a “huge economic opportunity” for jobs and gross value added in the UK.

You can find the recording of the webinar below. Read more about Renewable UK's work here.