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Neil Donoghue

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Neil Donoghue is a partner in the Firms’ Energy Mining and Infrastructure Practice with over 30 years of experience throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. Neil is Head of Baker McKenzie’s Global Nuclear Energy Practice.

The ongoing shift in the Global Energy landscape has been accelerated by the firm commitment of many governments around the globe to decarbonise and achieve net zero, as well as, most recently, very significant geo-political developments. A number of new energy strategies have been launched by governments around the globe (most notably, in the EU, UK and USA) as well as new regulatory frameworks put into place to enable these strategies.

Following the government’s announcement of the creation of a new Future System Operator to oversee the UK’s energy system including emerging technologies and the arrival of the UK Energy Security Strategy, on 8 April 2022, the UK government published a package of proposals in support of UK hydrogen policy, including in particular a policy paper titled “Hydrogen Investor Roadmap: leading the way to net zero”. The paper reiterates the government’s pledge made in the Strategy to double its 5GW low-carbon hydrogen target to 10GW by 2030, with the intention that at least half of this production will come from electrolytic hydrogen. The paper aligns with the approach laid out in the Strategy to utilise excess offshore wind power to drive down hydrogen production costs

Following the government’s announcement of the creation of a new Future System Operator to oversee the UK’s energy system including emerging technologies and the arrival of the UK Energy Security Strategy, on 8 April 2022, the UK government published a package of proposals in support of UK hydrogen policy, including in particular a policy paper titled “Hydrogen Investor Roadmap: leading the way to net zero”. The paper reiterates the government’s pledge made in the Strategy to double its 5GW low-carbon hydrogen target to 10GW by 2030, with the intention that at least half of this production will come from electrolytic hydrogen. The paper aligns with the approach laid out in the Strategy to utilise excess offshore wind power to drive down hydrogen production costs.

On 7 April 2022 the UK published its Energy Security Strategy. The key aim of the strategy is for the UK to achieve long-term independence from foreign energy sources and decarbonise the nation’s power supply. The strategy echoes the communication released on 8 March 2022 by the European Commission in relation to the Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
The UK’s Energy Security Strategy reinforces the Government’s commitment to decarbonisation, with an ambitious new target for offshore wind by 2030 and a doubling of the previous target for hydrogen production in the same time frame.

As the penetration of renewable energy increases, maintaining grid reliability becomes ever more challenging and costly. This Baker McKenzie report highlights key opportunities and challenges for the energy storage sector both from a global perspective and from the perspective of several key jurisdictions, and the significance of its role in enabling the energy transition.

In the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the UK has published its first ever Hydrogen Strategy. The strategy promises to deliver 9,000 jobs, GBP 4 billion in investment and new export opportunities by creating a thriving low-carbon hydrogen sector in the UK over the next 10 years and beyond. It builds on the prime minister’s determined Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution by depicting how the UK government will work with industry to meet its ambition for 5 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.