Latest News on the UK Hydrogen Economy - 16/06/21



Ames Goldsmith Ceimig, as a manufacturer of catalysts such as Iridium Oxide, Iridium Ruthenium Oxide, Iridium Black, Platinum Black & Platinum on Carbon support, are strong supports of the emerging Hydrogen Economy and supply many manufacturers of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology including PEM Electrolysers and PEM Fuel Cells.


In the UK we are members of the UKHFCA & SHFCA. Here are some of the recent developments in Hydrogen happening in the UK and affecting the Hydrogen Economy more broadly:


G7: UK – We need to see ‘firm action’ from the G7 on hydrogen - Weblink


In May, the Group of Seven (G7) agreed to step up efforts to advance commercial scale hydrogen from low carbon and renewable sources across its economies, including support for fuel cell deployment globally. Following this news, and in the run up to the G7 Leaders’ Summit, which started on Friday June 11 in Cornwall, UK, H2 View is bringing you a series of thought leadership articles written by the hydrogen associations in the G7 countries. Next up is the UK.


On June 11th the eyes of the world’s media were on Carbis Bay, Cornwall in the UK as Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes the leaders of the G7 nations, the EU and guest countries at the G7 Summit. For three days, world leaders will meet to discuss how to spearhead the global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and deal with geopolitical threats.


With the COP26 climate summit taking place in less than six months, climate change will be a key part of the G7’s agenda. The Prime Minister has spoken about how he wants to unite fellow G7 nations to create a “greener, more prosperous future”. The UK Government is keen to ensure that COP26 results in meaningful global agreements on reducing global emissions and so, over the coming days, it will be looking to gain support from fellow G7 nations for its ambitious climate targets.


For the hydrogen industry, the G7 is a moment where we hope to see progress. We know that hydrogen and fuel cells can play key roles in reducing carbon emissions across the economy, helping nations achieve their net zero targets. Pleasingly, many G7 countries recognise this domestically and are now putting in place practical hydrogen strategies which are providing a framework for industry to scale up and grow.


UK is significantly behind its G7 peers in green recovery funding – including hydrogen, says report - Weblink


According to a report conducted by TUC, the UK is behind its G7 peers when it comes to green jobs and investment, meaning that it will miss out on building domestic competitive advantages in hydrogen and other green technology.


As outlined in the report, the Treasury has the opportunity to urgently address the current course of underfunding climate action.


On current trend the UK will fail to create quality green jobs needed and will continue to lose out on building domestic competitive advantage from tidal stream, hydrogen, electric vehicles and clean steel.


G7 to step up efforts to advance commercial scale hydrogen - Weblink


The Group of Seven (G7) has agreed to step up efforts to advance commercial scale hydrogen from low carbon and renewable sources across its economies, including support for fuel cell deployment globally.

The intergovernmental organisation, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, met virtually on Friday (May 21), ahead of the G7 leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, UK next month, and agreed to phase out government funding for fossil fuel projects internationally in support of greener alternatives, like hydrogen.


As a first step the G7 countries will end all new finance for coal power by the end of 2021, matched by increased support for clean energy alternatives. It was also agreed to accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity and to an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system in the 2030s.


FCH JU & MI joint report on Hydrogen Valleys - Weblink


A new report on Hydrogen Valleys was released on 2 June 2021, during the launch of Mission Innovation 2.0 at the 12th Clean Energy Ministerial. Hydrogen Valleys have recently gone global, with new projects emerging worldwide and the Hydrogen Valley landscape being increasingly driven by the private sector. This report is now available on the Mission Innovation Hydrogen Valley Platform, a new global information sharing platform established by the FCH JU.


The Hydrogen Valleys Platform resource features 30+ Hydrogen Valleys worldwide with a cumulative investment volume of more than EUR 30 billion, including the Orkney BIG HIT project as one of the three fully implemented Hydrogen Valleys. This report finds that Hydrogen Valleys approach will contribute globally towards the middle of this decade, with an increasing number of projects growing in both size and complexity such as the HEAVENN project in the North Netherlands.


Britain needs to develop a clear policy framework for hydrogen - Weblink


Britain needs to develop a clear policy framework to support the UK Government’s target of 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, the Westminster Energy Environment & Transport Forum’s Growing the hydrogen market in the UK virtual event on Wednesday (May 26) heard.


Chris Jackson, Chair of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA), said any policy developed has to have a social license behind it and also needs to clear, simple and actionable in a short timeframe.


Port of Cromarty Firth MoU to import green H2 from Norway - Weblink


SHFCA member Port of Cromarty Firth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norwegian firm Gen2 Energy AS to create a commercial pathway to import green hydrogen from Norway into the UK energy market.


The partnership will provide a security of supply for the Cromarty Firth’s own plans for a large scale electrolyser facility, and will guarantee green hydrogen to those who want access to the clean energy by mid-2023, so they have the confidence to make concrete plans to begin switching their infrastructure. The MoU is a massive boost in the bid to establish a green hydrogen hub in the Cromarty Firth, adding a new international angle to its aim to produce, store and supply hydrogen to the Highland region, other parts of Scotland, the UK and Europe.


UK: The South West needs a hydrogen vision… - Weblink


In areas of historic industrial activity, as well as around major cities, we are already starting to see these ambitions put into action; all you have to do is google the word ‘Teesside’ nowadays to find the plans for the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster, featuring 1GW worth of blue hydrogen production capacity by 2030 courtesy of BP – 20% of the UK’s total target. However, for the South West of the UK, and particularly Devon and Cornwall, a region that lacks widescale robust connection to national energy infrastructure, the route to decarbonisation is much more unclear.


Despite being one of the prime locations for energy revolution in the UK, with large amounts of wind, sun and a vast offshore area to exploit, the South West faces a number of energy issues; primely related to heat. National gas pipelines do not extend to much of Cornwall and Devon, leaving the region in energy isolation, as well as with a higher than average fuel poverty rate (14.4% for Cornwall compared to the UK average of 10.3%).


Plans for Cornwall Marine Hydrogen Centre unveiled - Weblink


A world first centre dedicated to testing the marinisation of hydrogen systems for small to medium vessels is set to be established in Cornwall – an area of the UK renowned for its maritime history.


Everything from refuelling, storage, fuel cells, controls, motors and drives will be able to be tested in top quality facilities under simulated real-world conditions at the Cornwall Marine Hydrogen Centre.


Rolls-Royce wants a ‘pioneering’ role in fuel cell applications - Weblink


Rolls-Royce has confirmed that fuel cell systems will be an essential part of its sustainable solutions portfolio, with the company’s CEO wanting to assume a “pioneering role in fuel cell applications”.

Affirming such commitment, the British engineering giant has said it is currently setting up a 250kW demonstrator at its Friedrichshafen, Germany plant to test sustainable and climate-friendly power supply based on fuel cells.


“We firmly believe that fuel cell technology is set to make a huge contribution to a successful energy turnaround. That’s why Rolls-Royce sees it as its mission to assume a pioneering role in fuel cell applications,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

“Fuel cells will form an elementary part of our product portfolio for sustainable solutions.”


Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit EMEC Hydrogen in Orkney - Weblink


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Orkney this week (w/c 24/05/21) in pursuit of solutions for tackling climate change and supporting the UK’s green economic recovery. Their Royal Highnesses visited the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) tidal test facility, and met with EMEC’s managing director, Neil Kermode, to hear about the test centre’s role in developing an ocean energy industry and with pioneering green hydrogen deployments including the FCH JU supported BIG HIT project.


CMAL awards contract for HySeas III hydrogen ferry design - Weblink


The journey to build Europe’s first sea-going vehicle and passenger ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells has taken a significant step forward. The commercial contract for the HySeas III hydrogen ferry concept design has been awarded by SHFCA member Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), one of the partners in the EU-funded HySeas III programme, to Aqualisbraemar LOC Group.


CMAL and Aqualisbraemar LOC Group will work together on the concept design, which will be built around the requirements of a double-ended sea-going passenger and car ferry, with capacity for 120 passengers and 16 cars or two trucks. It will be designed to operate on the route between Kirkwall and Shapinsay in Orkney, where hydrogen fuel is generated from local wind power. The HySeas III ferry design will also be capable of operating at other ports where hydrogen could become available in the future.