The use of clean hydrogen technologies by transport and industry present “big opportunities” for the UK economy, but coordinated leadership from government and industry is needed to rapidly get the ball rolling on development. That is the key conclusion from a new analysis by think tank Policy Exchange to be released later today, which will argues investment in cost-effective hydrogen production technologies such as electrolysis would open up export opportunities for the UK, while also supporting the government’s Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth agenda. Hydrogen is “the most abundant element in the universe”, can be produced sustainably and only produces water vapour when burned, the report emphasises. As a fuel, it is 40 per cent more efficient than diesel, while it also has the potential to store energy or replace natural gas for heating. But today’s report, which assesses the potential of hydrogen to be used as a future energy source across a number of industries and processes, warns the UK risks missing out on H2’s green economy potential unless development and investment efforts are rapidly stepped up. It calls for increased investment to be focused on research and development (R&D) efforts to lower the cost of hydrogen production via clean methods such as electrolysis – which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using clean power sources and has the potential to provide energy flexibility and storage services to help balance intermittent renewable electricity sources. But the analysis is sceptical of the use of hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas in heating In particular, it points to Scotland and North East England as opportunities for hydrogen production hubs, offering potential to produce H2 using renewable electricity sources such as wind power, or through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
Business Green 20th Sept 2018 read more »
Birmingham University has signed a deal with Porterbrook, a privatised train leasing company, to begin testing Hydroflex – the country’s first hydrogen train, which could be ready for dummy runs next year. The university’s Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, which employs 130 academics, researchers and professional staff, says that it can produce a train that runs on hydrogen fuel cells without any need for a back-up diesel engine. It also would be able to hook up on electrified lines. Helen Simpson, of Porterbrook, said that there was interest in hydrogen because of its potential as a means of energy storage, addi ng that hydrogen power could smooth demand for electricity. The project has the backing of Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, who has struggled to deliver mainline electrification projects while promising to decarbonise the network and remove diesel trains by 2040.
Times 20th Sept 2018 read more »