IGas has applied for planning permission to produce hydrogen at two sites in Bletchingley, Surrey.
Surrey County Council is consulting on the plans. Please look at the application documents and send the Council your views on the Council’s planning portal here: https://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappdisp.aspx?AppNo=SCC%20Ref%202021/0145
– the deadline is Monday 18 October 2021.
Make sure to quote the planning reference SCC Ref 2021/0145
Key points you may wish to make:
- This application should be refused as it is incompatible with Surrey’s climate change ambitions.
- The application has a number of misleading statements, especially concerning government policies on hydrogen production.
- This is a proposal to produce high carbon “grey” hydrogen. This is not the low carbon hydrogen promoted in the governments 10 Point Plan, Energy White Paper, Hydrogen Strategy or the Decarbonising Transport Strategy.
- This proposal would emit more than an additional 18,600 kg of CO2 -eq into the air every day. That is more than 18 tonnes each day and 7,384 tonnes each year.
- National policy states we need to cut emissions by 78% by 2035. This high carbon hydrogen production would add to the difficulty in achieving this level of reduction in Surrey.
- Although the planning application states IGas will not be producing additional gas at these sites, their company statements show they plan to triple production to 6,000 kg of hydrogen per day if they find they have the reserves for this.
- The application states there is a strong potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) at a future date. We consider this unlikely as the governments strategy at present is for large industrial clusters close to abandoned North Sea oil and gas wells which would provide storage for the captured carbon.
- At present CCS is not part of the planning application and so it cannot be considered.
- The application states the hydrogen produced would be used to power hydrogen buses. A genuine low carbon option for this is hydrogen produced using renewable electricity. Schemes like this are available and one in Hythe, Kent is due to go into production in 2022.