Tuesday 7 December 2021

How hydrogen could change the future of UK travel

How hydrogen could change the future of UK travel

The UK’s first hydrogen-enabled passenger train launched at COP26 in Glasgow. A collaboration with the University of Birmingham, the HydroFLEX uses 277kg of hydrogen fuel, resulting in zero direct emissions. With a 300-mile range and speeds of up to 100mph, this innovative vehicle is a significant step forward for the UK’s hydrogen revolution.

The UK transport sector produces significant greenhouse gas emissions. So, it is particularly vital that these emissions are reduced and the sector becomes more environmentally friendly. Hydrogen is a vital low-carbon solution in the UK’s toolbox, as the country strives to reach its net zero targets.

So, how has hydrogen impacted the UK transport sector, and what does the future hold for this zero carbon fuel?

How has hydrogen been incorporated so far?

The roll-out of hydrogen is helping to bring down the UK’s emissions. This green fuel is also providing flexible energy for power, heat and transport in various industry sectors.

Earlier this year the government announced a new Hydrogen Strategy. The strategy aims to develop a thriving low-carbon hydrogen sector in the UK. This is to meet an ambitious national goal of 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity, by 2030.

The strategy also outlines:

  • How the UK will rapidly scale up production and lay the foundations for a low-carbon hydrogen economy, by 2030.
  • How the government will support innovation and stimulate investment during the 2020s. Again, to boost production.

Earlier this year, London mayor Sadiq Khan introduced the first double-decker hydrogen bus fleet in London. The buses joined over 500 electric buses in the UK as part of the Go-Ahead London fleet. This has boosted London’s acceleration towards the goal of zero emissions by 2030. Helping to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of environmental progress.

The future of hydrogen

While hydrogen has been identified as an essential low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels, the UK still has a long way to go before it can reach its potential. A significant, rapid scale-up of resources is needed in order to reach the country’s ambitious net zero targets.

Shoreham Port in West Sussex has recently signed a collaboration agreement with H2 Green to install a new major green hydrogen facility. Under the two-year agreement, H2 Green (a subsidiary of energy developer, Getech) will develop new onshore wind and solar power generation capacity. As well as an electrolysis facility.

Before the final investment in 2022, H2 Green will need to finalise the engineering designs and work (which is part of the for the planning permission requirements). The green hydrogen hub will serve the transport sector and help other businesses, including timber and steel handling as well as water treatment.

Decarbonising the UK’s railway system is set to be another big step towards its net zero goals. Shifting to a low-carbon rail network will reduce emissions and encourage biodiversity on railway land. While many of the larger advances in hydrogen fall within the government’s remit, it is nevertheless important that we all do our best to incorporate low-carbon solutions into our everyday lives.

How can EIC help?

We understand the urgency surrounding sustainability targets. Our vast range of services help businesses to better understand their energy consumption, carbon reduction measures and green procurement options. We keep on top of the latest developments in green energy, helping you stay ahead of the curve.

We can also assist you in the switch to electric vehicles, including planning and installing charge points across your sites. We offer advice on converting your current fuel fleets to electric and fleet audits, offering energy saving recommendations to drive down emissions.

Get in contact today and let us help you make net zero happen for your business.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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