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Latest News on the UK Hydrogen Economy - 19/08/21

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:

Tokyo Olympic flame is the first powered by hydrogen - weblink

Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Inspired by the sun, the Tokyo Olympic cauldron is designed to be better for the planet.

This may be the first time the public will become familiar with the distinct orange colour of a hydrogen flame which will hopefully be a familiar sight in the homes of the future.

The flame at Tokyo’s National Stadium and another cauldron burning along the waterfront near Tokyo Bay throughout the games will be sustained in part by hydrogen, the first time the fuel source will be used to power an Olympic fire.

Previous flames have usually run on propane. Unlike propane, hydrogen does not produce carbon dioxide when combusted. The Tokyo cauldron is fueled by hydrogen produced by a factory in the Fukushima prefecture that runs on renewable energy. Propane and hydrogen were both used during the torch relay.

The Tokyo cauldron was designed by Canadian architect Oki Sato. His sun-inspired orb unfolds like petals from a flower, which organizers say “embody vitality and hope.”

IPCC climate report rings the alarm bell - Weblink

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) has published a new report which shows global temperatures rising more quickly than expected, due to the long-term effects of increased CO2 levels in the air. The IPCC consists of 195 governments, and is widely regarded as one of the most credible sources of climate science. This report by IPCC Working Group 1 is the first part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report which is scheduled to be published in October 2022.

Global temperatures are rising more quickly than previously thought. The IPCC finds that global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades. Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level.

This Working Group 1 contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report addresses the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations. IPCC Working Group 1 has assessed the physical science basis of climate change, and their report provides details on how greenhouse gases from human activities are causing unprecedented damage. The new IPCC report contains key findings based on the latest assessment of scientific knowledge about the warming of the planet, together with projections for future warming.

Today’s IPCC report provides unequivocal evidence that human influence has warmed the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. Global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered.

House of Lords reports UK Net Zero Target at Risk - weblink

The UK House of Lords cross-party Science and Technology Select Committee has today published the findings of their inquiry on the Role of batteries and fuel cells in achieving Net Zero. The inquiry report Net Zero Target at Risk concludes that actions taken by the Government do not align with its ambition to achieve net zero emissions, nor do they take advantage of opportunities presented by batteries and fuel cells for the UK’s research and manufacturing sectors.

The Role of batteries and fuel cells in achieving Net Zero Inquiry investigated the role of battery and fuel cell technologies in achieving the UK’s ambition to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The work considered the use of these technologies in transport, and also in other sectors such as power grids, agricultural machinery and heat production.

The Committee found that the UK is failing to make the most of its expertise in fuel cells and next-generation batteries, in which it could take a global lead. The Committee was alarmed by the contrast and apparent disconnect between the optimism of Ministers about the UK’s prospects and the concerns raised by other witnesses who fear that the UK is lagging behind its competitors and facing significant challenges with innovation, supply chains and skills.

The UK House of Lords Committee report sets out a number of recommendations for the UK Government and research funders, aimed at protecting the UK’s automotive sector and developing a competitive advantage for the UK in fuel cells and next-generation batteries. The report seeks further action from Government, including:

- Urgent publication of the Government’s hydrogen strategy and related decarbonisation strategies, to give clarity to hauliers and bus operators about whether to invest in fuel cell vehicles; and

- Establishment of research and innovation institutions for fuel cells, to exploit the UK’s expertise and support UK companies to take a global lead.

- A rapid decision following the consultation on phasing out the sale of new diesel HGVs to spur innovation and uptake of low-carbon technologies

Scottish Enterprise report on Clean H2 Production in Scotland - weblink

Scottish Enterprise has released a new report that highlights Scotland’s strengths in clean hydrogen. This report on Development and Integration of Early, Clean Hydrogen Production Plants in Scotland identifies the opportunity for Scotland to be a world-leading producer and exporter of clean hydrogen within the next ten years and finds that the technologies and deployment will be paramount to the success of Scotland’s target of net zero by 2045.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Energy Michael Matheson said: “Hydrogen is rapidly emerging as a sustainable solution for the decarbonisation of the global economy and supporting a just transition to a net-zero. Today’s report from Scottish Enterprise is further evidence that Scotland has all the key resources, skills and infrastructure to become a leading hydrogen nation for both domestic use and export. In December last year, we became the first country in the UK to publish a Hydrogen Policy Statement, setting out how we can make the most of Scotland’s massive potential in this new sector, and are providing £100m over the next five years to help accelerate our hydrogen economy, stimulate private investment and capitalise on the huge potential highlighted in this report.”

Scotland, due to its location, renewable energy potential, established oil and gas industry, geological features, technical expertise, existing infrastructure and commitment to net zero by 2045, has the resources to become a global leader in the emerging clean hydrogen market. This initial report will be followed up with a site prospectus that will assess key locations in Scotland suitable for clean hydrogen production and will be launched ahead of COP26 in November.

Acorn project could deliver 25% of UK low carbon H2 by 2030 - weblink

SHFCA member Pale Blue Dot has released the key findings of a report on the employment impact from development of the Acorn CCS and Hydrogen Project (“Acorn”). The Scottish Cluster project will enable and accelerate low-carbon hydrogen deployment, and could account for 1.3 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030. This is nearly 25% of the target for 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen capacity by 2030.

Between 2025 and 2030 the Scottish Cluster could also provide secure storage for nine different UK CO2 sources, spanning a variety of high emitting sectors including industrial sites and power generation plants, as well as new hydrogen generation plant and the deployment of Direct Air Capture (“DAC”) technology. Eight of these CO2 sources should be operational by 2027 and they include two of the gas terminals at the St Fergus Gas Complex, SSE and Equinor’s Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, around 1 million tonnes per year from the INEOS and Petroineos sites at Grangemouth and the first large-scale DAC facility of its kind in Europe, targeted for North East Scotland.

BP bolsters plans for its proposed clean H2 facility in Teesside - weblink

BP revealed it has signed multiple MOUs with a series of new ‎potential customers for its proposed clean hydrogen production facility in Teesside in north-east ‎England.

In March, BP announced plans for a clean hydrogen facility in Teesside (H2Teesside) that would aim to ‎produce up to 1GW of blue hydrogen – 20% of the UK’s hydrogen target – by 2030. At the same ‎time, it revealed it had signed initial MOUs to scope the supply of hydrogen to chemicals ‎manufacturer Venator and gas distributor Northern Gas Networks.‎

BP has now signed MOUs with four further potential customers – with existing or planned new ‎Teesside operations – for hydrogen produced by the project. These can support and accelerate the ‎development of the Teesside hydrogen cluster and decarbonization of industrial users in the area.

Plans progress for the UK’s largest hydrogen fuelling hub in Manchester - weblink

Manchester, UK, is set to receive a huge boost to its hydrogen capabilities with the submission of a planning application to develop the city’s first hydrogen fuel hub, Trafford Green Hydrogen revealed today (August 11).

The 200MW hydrogen fuelling hub is set to be the largest in the UK, the company has said, and will provide businesses in the Greater Manchester region with easy access to hydrogen fuel.

This will support businesses that utilise hydrogen for transportation fleets or with heating requirements – both of which are low carbon.

Riversimple, DHL join forces to accelerate hydrogen mobility - weblink

Riversimple Movement and DHL Supply Chain have joined forces to bring sustainable zero emission vehicles, specifically those powered by hydrogen, to the UK market while designing a green hydrogen supply chain.

The duo formalised such plans on Friday (July 16) with a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), through which they want to secure the financing required to reach volume production of hydrogen vehicles.

First H2 blending on a public gas network to begin in UK - weblink

The next phase of a ground-breaking green energy trial that could help Britain dramatically cut its carbon emissions and open the door to a low-carbon hydrogen economy has been given the go-ahead by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The HyDeploy project will blend hydrogen with natural gas on a public gas network in Winlaton, Gateshead operated by Northern Gas Networks.

Heating in the UK is currently responsible for a third of carbon emissions. Because hydrogen produces no carbon at the point of use, it is a viable alternative for heating homes and businesses to achieve the Government’s target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

HyDeploy is a £22.5 MM Ofgem Network Innovation Competition project delivered by a consortium, including partners Northern Gas Networks, Cadent, Progressive Energy Ltd, Keele University, HSE – Science Division and ITM Power.


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