Dr Michaela Kendall



Presentation Title The UK Hydrogen Strategy and Technology Supply Chains

In 2017, Dr Kendall published the first UK Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Strategy devised by colleagues that created the Midlands Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Network, a regional trade association representing the pioneers of the early hydrogen economy.  In August 2021, Minister Kwarteng published the second Hydrogen Strategy committing to a 5GW hydrogen production target for the UK; only 8 months later, the target doubled to 10GW.  

The UK Hydrogen Strategy has been in the making for several decades, and the history of fuel cells and hydrogen globally is depicted in the Adelan book “Hystory”.  The story is one of remarkable serendipity and chance for such an important topic as low carbon energy, driven by pioneering characters inspired by international events and coincidences.  The UK is a key nation in the innovation narrative, but other countries namely the USA and China have been much more successful at clustering expertise, supporting infrastructure investments, commercializing technologies and creating momentum in the growing global hydrogen economy.  Turkey played an incredibly important role in the story of hydrogen by hosting the UN Hydrogen Centre in Istanbul, forming a global nucleus of scientists, engineers, businesses and international agencies to build critical networks that remain today, especially in Europe.  

This talk will examine the history of hydrogen to predict the net zero technologies and fuels of the future.  Important top-down lessons have been learned to date related to the role of hydrogen technology policy, early market clustering, market barriers, accelerating scale-up and investment bottlenecks.  Reflecting on past successes and failures will support the creation of a more resilient global hydrogen economy from the ground up.


Dr Michaela Kendall is CEO and co-founder of fuel cell pioneers Adelan (26 years in Birmingham, UK). One of the world’s first fuel cell businesses, Adelan commercialises a clean energy technology she co-invented in the early 1990s.  She recently authored a book on the history of hydrogen called “Hystory:  The Story of Hydrogen”.
Over a 30-year career, she has secured significant international funding, working with powerful strategic policy and technical networks vital to low carbon business, including the US EPA, the UN, the EU and national governments.  
Managing industrial R&D programmes funded by the US, EU and Chinese governments, Dr Kendall plays a key role in building the UK’s national fuel cell strategy, is the Hydrogen Champion for the UK and went to COP26 in November 2021.
As a leading environmental scientist with faculty positions in America, Asia and Europe, Dr Kendall also holds academic posts (including three Visiting Professorships) at UK universities.  
Addressing the emissions, security and cost of energy throughout her career, her personal goal is to foster the widest possible international cooperation to realise the ambitions of global hydrogen and fuel cell networks to achieve net zero.