The $28 billion (¥3 trillion) Sizewell C nuclear station is touted as an anchor for Britain reaching net-zero emissions, yet its reactors will compete with wind farms over the North Sea horizon. On gusty days, where will the plant’s excess power go? Toward making hydrogen.

Nuclear developers in Europe, North America and Russia are looking at the clean gas as an outlet for their low-carbon power to maximize revenue from one of the most expensive energy assets on the planet. They also want to capitalize on the $70 billion-plus pledged by governments to help develop the industry as a way to reach climate goals.

Electricite de France SA (EDF) wants to make hydrogen at the proposed 20 billion-pound Sizewell C plant on the southeast coast, marking the first time these technologies would be combined on a commercial scale in Europe. With enough supply, clean hydrogen could meet a quarter of the world’s energy needs by 2050, and annual sales have potential to reach €630 billion ($744 billion).