Hydrogen supply chains: Resiliency, sustainability and circularity

Grantham Scholar Liang Kong’s project aims to contribute to a clean, reliable, and affordable energy future through creating a new framework for hydrogen supply chains (HSCs).

The project

With the urgent energy shortages and environmental challenges facing worldwide, governments are becoming more aware of clean renewable energy such as biofuels, hydrogen, and wind power’s roles in enhancing energy security. Because of hydrogen’s considerable storage on the earth, it is seen as one of the most potential green energy transporter alternatives.

Substantial research has been concentrated on the technological development side of both blue (e.g., with CCUS) and green hydrogen (e.g., electrolyser), which cover hydrogen supply chains (HSCs) including hydrogen production, storage, transport, distribution, and utilisation. HSCs are characterised by a great degree of heterogeneity due to both sustainable and non-renewable feedstock available for hydrogen production. Different electrolysis and thermochemical methods are applied to hydrogen generation, further exacerbating HSC complexity and uncertainties. Such a hydrogen system requires consideration of novel manufacturing and chemical processes, infrastructure availability, and supply and distribution network connectivity to reduce risk exposures.

In addition, with the concerns about a sustainable economy, the question of whether the net zero goal can be achieved by using hydrogen and how to assess HSC’s long-term resilience, sustainability, and circularity arises, which is especially crucial regarding large-scale hydrogen production. The variables that impact the resilience, sustainability, and circularity of hydrogen supply are not independent, but rather interacted and are partly reduplicated in concepts, which is difficult for stakeholders to make proper judgments directly on achieving the net zero goal.

Previous studies have considered these challenges but neglected to address them from the perspectives of management theories as well as geopolitical, socioeconomic, and environmental risks. Therefore, aligned with the UK net zero targets and SDGs, this project aims to contribute to a clean, reliable, and affordable energy future, tackling climate change via creating a new framework for guiding and improving the resiliency, sustainability, and circularity of the HSCs.



Dr Matthew Wood

Department of Politics and International Relations