What is CHIP?
The Clean Hydrogen Innovation Programme (CHIP) is a multi-year collaborative initiative to accelerate the development and deployment of clean hydrogen in the UK through innovation. Clean hydrogen offers immense potential to decarbonise sectors like industry, transportation and dispatchable power generation. However, high costs pose a significant hurdle to widespread adoption. CHIP convenes hydrogen sector stakeholders to collectively:
- Assess the key innovations needed to increase the cost-competitiveness of clean hydrogen.
- Scope and design targeted research and development (R&D) projects to accelerate the cost reduction of clean hydrogen production components.
CHIP is an industry-led programme supported by the UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
CHIP's objective is to stimulate the supply chain and accelerate the deployment of clean hydrogen in the UK. By doing this, CHIP can drive down end-to-end cost through collaborative innovation.
CHIP will accelerate UK hydrogen deployment by addressing key cost barriers:
Stimulate the supply chain
The UK hydrogen supply chain is nascent and there are opportunities engage with innovators and shape supply chain development.
Convene compressed hydrogen storage tank technology providers to develop standardised products and clear technical standards of manufacture to move away from bespoke designs.
Unlock hydrogen deployment
Innovation in key technologies could unlock the roll out of the wider hydrogen supply chain by overcoming barriers.
Improve understanding of the effects of using established compressor types from other sectors for hydrogen including the effect of high gas flows, slippage, and oil contamination.
Drive cost reduction
End-to-end cost reduction through innovation in supply chain technologies will accelerate the uptake of hydrogen.
Understanding and optimising production, compression, and small- scale buffer storage strategies to minimise levelized cost of storing hydrogen.
A process that unlocks market transformation:
Identifying and prioritising innnovation needs
Suitable technologies from across the hydrogen supply chain were identified through a landscape assessment and evaluated based on their cost reduction potential and strategic value for the UK's supply chain development, as part of an extensive Innovation Needs Assessment (INA).
17 experts spanning components OEMs, manufacturing, logistics academia and the consulting industry were interviewed to validate the inputs of the INA.
23 technologies were analysed and six key components were signaled as the technologies with the biggest potential to unlock hydrogen deployment through innovation:
Salt caverns are likely the most feasible and likely lowest cost means of facilitating the large-scale storage of compressed hydrogen.
Compressed storage tanks
Compressed storage tanks will be vital for supporting early establishment of hydrogen supply chains as well as continued development of distributed non-pipeline-served applications as a key provider of buffer storage for transport and small industrial applications.
Compressors today present high operating and capital cost items but will be needed throughout the supply chain - optimising the dynamics of production, compression, and energy storage to minimise costs is a key means to bring down the levelised cost of hydrogen (LCOH) of renewable hydrogen.
Tube trailers are highly likely to be a key bridging technology in the 2020s for connecting increasingly centralised hydrogen production to distributed demand centres.
New pipeline infrastructure
New hydrogen pipelines will have a transformative effect on LCOH by allowing much larger volumes of hydrogen to be transported firstly on a local level and then perhaps nationally depending on existing natural gas pipeline conversion, at lower cost than other distribution methods.
Existing pipeline infrastructure
The strategic value of converting current natural gas transmission and distribution assets cannot be underestimated as a key facilitator of connecting large scale supply and demand centres - like new pipelines, this could have a transformative effect on LCOH.
Following an innovation needs assessment in early 2023, several technologies from across the hydrogen supply chain were prioritised for innovation as part of CHIP. In it’s first phase of innovation projects CHIP will tackle key uncertainties around three vital technologies in the hydrogen supply chain: compressors, purification and pipeline and tube trailer distribution.
Interested in Joining CHIP?
CHIP is looking to welcome new members to build momentum and increase the scale and impact of our innovation projects. We are actively discussing membership with organisations within the energy sector and supply chain – from innovators and SMEs to large corporates.
What are the benefits of joining CHIP
Benefits for hydrogen developers
Exceptional financial efficiency in tackling key issues in the hydrogen supply chain, helping to reduce development risk and ultimately the delivered cost of hydrogen.
Benefits for networks
Understanding how networks can collaboratively innovate with other actors in the space to use outcomes to develop knowledge and intellectual capacity in network-adjacent fields.
Benefits for SMEs and innovators
Tackling problems alongside biggest actors in sector with equal voice in defining innovation programmes.
Benefits for technology providers
Understanding and helping to achieve key operational targets for crucial hydrogen technologies.