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Latest News on the UK Hydrogen Economy - 20/12/22


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:


Hydrogen Council report on critical raw materials for clean H2 - Weblink


The Hydrogen Council and the World Bank have released a joint report on Sufficiency, Sustainability, and Circularity of Critical Materials for Clean Hydrogen. This study looks at the raw materials used in the hydrogen value chain, with a special focus on metals. This finds that the scale of the raw materials impact of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies is small, relative to the scale of both current demand for critical raw materials and the outlook for projected demand required for the clean energy transition. There are however some critical materials, such as iridium used in PEM electrolysers, which may require attention to avoid supply chain bottlenecks.

The work currently being implemented by Ames Goldsmith Ceimig chimes well with the reports findings. What this space for news of Ceimig’s low iridium catalysts.


Toyota in £11.3m government deal to develop hydrogen pickup trucks - Weblink

Schematic layout for hydrogen fuel cell Hilux pick-up (Toyota)


Toyota has signed an £11.3m deal to help it develop a new range of hydrogen-powered pickup trucks.


The agreement could create up to 250 jobs across the UK, according to the government.


The funding will allow Toyota to set up a pilot production line for its Hilux FC model at its plant near Derby.


Research carried out there could eventually pave the way for trucks to be built at the company's Deeside factory in Wales.


IRENA calls on G7 to ramp-up a global green H2 market - Weblink


G7 members can be the front runners in low carbon and green H2 deployment, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) concludes. Overall, the consumption of H2 by G7 countries could grow between four and seven times by 2050.


Published at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, “Accelerating H2 Deployment in G7: Recommendations for the H2 Action Pact” sees some of the most favorable conditions like access to capital, presence of heavy industry, availability of renewable sources, existing local green H2 industry and technical know-how in G7 countries.


DNV releases UK Energy Outlook 2022 - Weblink


DNV has released their first UK Energy Transition Outlook which includes key messages about the steps now required to support the deployment of hydrogen into heat and transport markets. The core finding is that early ambition and action has allowed the UK to make good progress with decarbonisation, but unless the government details an implementation plan to support a low-carbon future, the UK will not meet its ‘net zero by 2050’ target. Renewable (green) and low-carbon (blue) hydrogen will be crucial to help the UK meet its commitment to the Paris Agreement goals, particularly in helping to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors.


Scottish Government publishes Hydrogen Action Plan for 2022-26 - Weblink


The Scottish Government has published their final Hydrogen Action Plan that lays out the strategic approach to build Scotland’s hydrogen economy and help Scotland become a leading producer and exporter in the production of reliable, competitive and sustainable hydrogen. It details the 33 actions that will be taken over the next five years to support the development of a hydrogen economy to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland 's energy system while ensuring a just transition.


The Hydrogen Action Plan highlights the priority to get as much renewable hydrogen into the energy system as quickly as possible to help towards delivering climate change targets and Net Zero. It confirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to support the development of the hydrogen sector in Scotland and reconfirms the ambition for 5GW of installed renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 and 25GW by 2045. The Hydrogen Action Plan is supported by a capital funding programme that will make £100m available to accelerate and maximise the production of renewable hydrogen in Scotland.


UK H2 strategy updates - Weblink


The UK Government has published their UK Hydrogen Strategy update to the market: December 2022 which summarises the government’s action to advance the hydrogen economy since the previous UK Hydrogen Strategy update in July 2022. This strategy update sets out the UK Government position that the UK is well placed to participate in global trade. Opportunities to export hydrogen, including from the UK to continental Europe, can help to meet increasing hydrogen demand alongside established energy trading and interconnection with the UK.


In April 2022 the UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy doubled the 2030 capacity target for UK-wide low carbon hydrogen production from 5 GW to 10 GW, putting the UK in a stronger position to participate in global trade. The UK Hydrogen Strategy update to the market: December 2022 sets out further activities including exploring opportunities to export hydrogen from the UK to continental Europe. The UK Government has also committed to setting up a hydrogen certification scheme by 2025 to demonstrate high-grade British hydrogen for export and ensure any imported hydrogen meets the same high standards that UK companies expect.


Activity undertaken by the UK government in the last few months and highlighted in today’s announcement includes: funding 9 projects through the £26 million Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator competition; launching the first Electrolytic Hydrogen Allocation Round, which offers joint support through the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and Hydrogen Production Business Model; announcing the shortlisted CCUS-enabled hydrogen projects in the Cluster Sequencing Process; and publishing a consultation on hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure. Also published today is the Hydrogen Production Business Model Heads of Terms, providing a framework for the principal terms and conditions for the Low Carbon Hydrogen Agreement that will be signed with initial projects.



Northern Gas Networks and partners to work on an ambitious low-carbon H2 production - Weblink


Gas distributor Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has partnered with clean energy pioneers Hygen Energy Holdings (Hygen) and Ryze Hydrogen to work on an ambitious low carbon H2 production and dispensing facility in the heart of Bradford.


NGN, the gas distributor for the Northeast, Cumbria and much of Yorkshire, is carrying out the project in a JV with the two companies which are, respectively, the H2 production and distribution businesses established by clean energy pioneer Jo Bamford.


Inverness Green H2 Hub achieves milestone - Weblink


A year on from the December 2021 announcement by SHFCA members H2 Green and SGN about the Inverness Hydrogen Hub, the first phase of this innovative project to convert a former gas holder structure in Inverness into a green hydrogen production, storage and distribution facility has been completed. You can see the progress made with the Inverness site preparations in this 60-second video clip: https://youtu.be/Nb_m2d-A5b8


This is a tangible example of energy transition in action, with progress in the creation of homegrown, secure, green hydrogen to help power Scotland’s push for decarbonisation and energy security. The deconstruction of the gas holder marks a major milestone in SGN Commercial Services and H2 Green’s project ambition to supply hydrogen to large-volume anchor transport customers and create a world-class green hydrogen network across the Scottish Highlands.


Green hydrogen powers three-month maintenance outage at Uniper power plant in UK - Weblink


A GeoPura hydrogen-powered generator has powered Uniper’s Cottam Development Centre (CDC) natural gas plant in the UK during a three-month maintenance outage.


Commissioned by Uniper and utilised by the maintenance contractor, Siemens Energy, GeoPura’s 250kW Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) was used to power the outage village, including welfare facilities, and EV charging for all electric vehicles on site


Centrica and Equinor sign co-operation agreement for East Yorkshire H2 hub - Weblink


Centrica and Equinor have signed a co-operation agreement to explore developing a low-carbon H2 production hub at Easington in East Yorkshire, further strengthening the region’s growing status as the UK’s foremost H2 super place.


Under the co-operation plan, the Centrica-operated area at Easington could transition to a low carbon H2 production hub over the coming decade. This would support the Humber’s decarbonization ambitions and help the UK meet its net zero goals and H2 production targets. Such a transition would also safeguard many of the existing jobs within this historical gas terminal whilst creating new jobs for the future.


Wales & West Utilities plan for a major H2 pipeline in south Wales - Weblink


Wales & West Utilities is announcing plans for a major H2 pipeline in south Wales, to accelerate decarbonization plans for industry and gas customers in the region. HyLine Cymru will assess the feasibility of a pipeline network from Pembroke to the Swansea Bay area, connecting low carbon H2 production with industrial demand and providing options for other natural gas customers.


If built, the pipeline will pave the way for commercial scale H2 production in Pembrokeshire, Port Talbot and in the Celtic Sea, whilst also providing infrastructure for energy intensive industrial customers to begin fuel-switching their processes to H2 in the 2030s or earlier.


Hydrogen has ‘vital role’ in decarbonising homes - Weblink


Hydrogen has a vital role to play in a ‘whole system’ approach to decarbonising Britain’s homes, a group of leading academics told UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today.


In an open letter, academics from some of the country’s leading universities and engineering schools, including Cambridge, Imperial College London and University College London, said there was no ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ to decarbonising home heating and forcing a single option on consumers could risk alienating them.


Home heating accounts for 14% of all UK emissions. Household emissions from heating and hot water must be reduced by 95% to reach 2050 net zero targets.


Transitioning to hydrogen-based economy ‘can fully cut emissions’ - Weblink


Transitioning to a hydrogen-based economy could reduce carbon emissions almost in their entirety where it is used to replace fossil fuels, a team of scientists at the University of Reading have found.


Researchers including William Collins, Professor of Climate Processes, examined the use of hydrogen in many sectors of the economy and calculated its climate impact.


They found the release of one tonne of hydrogen into the atmosphere corresponds to the emission of nearly 13 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, so it will be important to prevent leakage from pipe networks.


Based on their calculations, a clear climate benefit arises from a transition to a green hydrogen economy. For a leakage rate in the range of 1-3%, the use of hydrogen makes it possible to avoid 90% to 99% of CO2 emissions.


New agreement could see Manchester become ‘first’ UK airport with direct hydrogen fuel pipeline - Weblink


Manchester Airport has said it is on track to be the ‘first’ in the UK with a direct hydrogen fuel pipeline having revealed a partnership with the UK Government-back industrial decarbonisation project, HyNet.


Under a freshly inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Progressive Energy and Cadent, founding partners of HyNet, the partners aim to deliver hydrogen to the aviation sector at the earliest opportunity, through the connection of Manchester Airport to a pipeline being developed by HyNet.


With the planned connection, the airport aims to be the first to establish a direct pipeline of hydrogen to supply any of its 60+ airlines with the low-carbon fuel, forming part of wide plans to decarbonise aviation.


Encirc and Diageo to use H2 powered furnace to change the face of UK glass manufacturing industry - Weblink


Encirc, a leading glass manufacturer and co-packer, and Diageo, a global leader in premium alcoholic drinks, have announced their partnership to create the world’s first net zero glass bottles at scale by 2030.


Encirc, a Vidrala company, plans to build a new furnace at its Elton plant, Cheshire, which will change the face of glass. The furnace will:

  • Reduce carbon emissions by 90%, with an energy mix of green electricity and low-carbon H2. It is expected that carbon capture technology will capture the remaining carbon emissions by 2030

  • Be powered by zero-carbon electricity and H2, from the Vertex (HyNet)plant in Cheshire

  • Be fully operational by 2027

  • Produce up to 200-MM Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Gordon’s and Tanqueray bottles annually by 2030.


CMB.TECH powers Windcat's new CSOV support vessels with Hydrogen - Weblink


CMB Windcat has announced an order for the construction of a series of hydrogen-powered CSOVs (Commissioning Service Operation Vessels) using the same dual fuel hydrogen technology from SHFCA member CMB.TECH as the Hydrocat, the world’s first hydrogen powered CTV (Crew Transfer Vessel) which was announced in May 2022. The use of hydrogen for the new CSOVs will make a critical contribution to the development of rules and regulations related to the use of hydrogen as a fuel in medium-sized vessels.


The “Elevation Series” CSOVs have been designed by Damen Shipyards in cooperation with Windcat and CMB.TECH. The result is a revolutionary new design with increased capabilities and flexibility compared to existing vessels. The vessels are 87 m long, 20 m wide, can accommodate 120 people on board and will be powered by hydrogen. The series will be delivered from 2025. Initially, two vessels have been ordered with options for further vessels.

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