Hydrogen trains could prove to be an effective answer to the problem presented by dirty diesel trains. Hydrogen has plenty of low carbon benefits. It can be produced using excess variable renewable power, it can play a role in the decarbonisation of road transport, rail transport, heating, and perhaps one day even aviation, it can be stored for long periods, and it can be integrated relatively easily into current refuelling models and infrastructure. There are lots of reasons to welcome the government’s interest in the technology. But if a Secretary of State is serious about realising these benefits and making hydrogen the future fuel of choice for much of the rail network then they need to provide a coherent, credible, and fast-tracked plan for delivering fuel cell powered trains and supporting green hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure. Because the failure to do so is to condemn the UK to a continued reliance on dirty, unreliable 20th century trains at a time when we are meant to be decarbonising key infrastructure as quickly as possible. If Grayling is unable or unwilling to produce such a plan, then he should have simply stuck with the existing plan to electrify the network.
Business Green 26th Jan 2018 read more »