Synergistic Integration of Hydrogen Energy Economy with UK’s Sustainable Development Goals: A Holistic Approach to Enhancing Safety and Risk Mitigation
Hydrogen is gaining prominence as a sustainable energy source in the UK, aligning with the country’s commitment to advancing sustainable development across diverse sectors. However, a rigorous examination of the interplay between the hydrogen economy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is imperative. This study addresses this imperative by comprehensively assessing the risks associated with hydrogen production, storage, transportation, and utilization. The overarching aim is to establish a robust framework that ensures the secure deployment and operation of hydrogen-based technologies within the UK’s sustainable development trajectory. Considering the unique characteristics of the UK’s energy landscape, infrastructure, and policy framework, this paper presents practical and viable recommendations to facilitate the safe and effective integration of hydrogen energy into the UK’s SDGs. To facilitate sophisticated decision making, it proposes using an advanced Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) tool, incorporating regret theory and a 2-tuple spherical linguistic environment. This tool enables a nuanced decision-making process, yielding actionable insights. The analysis reveals that Incident Reporting and Learning, Robust Regulatory Framework, Safety Standards, and Codes are pivotal safety factors. At the same time, Clean Energy Access, Climate Action, and Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure are identified as the most influential SDGs. This information provides valuable guidance for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and regulators. It empowers them to make well-informed strategic decisions and prioritize actions that bolster safety and sustainable development as the UK transitions towards a hydrogen-based energy system. Moreover, the findings underscore the varying degrees of prominence among different SDGs. Notably, SDG 13 (Climate Action) exhibits relatively lower overall distinction at 0.0066 and a Relation value of 0.0512, albeit with a substantial impact. In contrast, SDG 7 (Clean Energy Access) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) demonstrate moderate prominence levels (0.0559 and 0.0498, respectively), each with its unique influence, emphasizing their critical roles in the UK’s pursuit of a sustainable hydrogen-based energy future.
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