The first lockdowns in 2020 triggered reports of dramatic falls in global carbon emissions - in some cases the most significant falls since records began. 

But the predictions are those falls are only temporary, being linked primarily to changed behaviour in individuals - working from home, not driving to work, not flying. 

One of the first pandemic-era studies in global carbon emissions published in May 2020 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0797-x) anticipated annual falls once lockdown eased to be between 4% to 7%. 

That leaves 90%+ carbon emissions - showing that however desirable changes in behaviour are, the impact in tackling climate change is low.

Another consequence of lockdown was a drop in demand for electricity. Alongside that, large scale wind farms were continuing to produce more energy than the country needed.

All of this during the year in which wind generation reached its highest ever level in the UK, achieving a share of 60% of energy production by August 2020 (according to reports by the BBC). 

What about the excess power created by offshore wind production?  Has that to be accepted as an unintended consequence, or can it be put to use?

Back in September 2020, I commented on the welcome announcement of Aberdeen being selected as the location for ERM's Dolphyn project, reported to be the first of its kind combining the latest floating wind and hydrogen production technologies.  

The idea of using excess wind energy power to produce hydrogen continues to attract great interest. With hydrogen lauded as the great hope in achieving net zero targets, that interest appears to be well placed.

With large-scale hydrogen electrolysers becoming more available and the costs of installing wind turbines falling, everything points to the time being right to kick-start large-scale hydrogen electrolysis offshore. What are we waiting for?