At the beginning of August 2021, the UK released its long-term hydrogen plan. The plan is an ambition to develop 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen capacity by 2030, as part of its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Part of this will be to supply the future hydrogen aviation industry, with programs conducted by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) to support projects in the area.

William Davies, Associate Analyst at GlobalData comments: “The UK government report shows clear enthusiasm for supporting the future of hydrogen in aviation, with specific reference made to programs from companies including Airbus and ZeroAvia. Additionally, they are supporting trials of a hydrogen transport hub, as part of developing networks for production storage and transportation.”

The GlobalData report Hydrogen Aviation in Aerospace identifies key players in the industry, as well as which direction investment is likely to take in the next 24 months. It outlines the technology behind the aircraft, additionally potential barriers in the development and use of the technology.

Davies continues: “For the technology to be facilitated there will need to be a solid supply chain for the production and distribution of hydrogen as a fuel. Initiatives like this one are critical for ensuring the medium to long term viability of the technology.”

The report also mentions the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), which can be made of hydrogen in combination with fossil fuels, this technology could be critical in reducing emissions in the short and medium-term. Whilst hydrogen has significant potential in the long term, proposals like this are essential to its development and attempting to reduce climate effects in the interim.