North West calls on Government to develop region as low carbon cluster
29 Jan 2020
North West industry leaders say £4 billion of investment and 33,000 jobs could be created if Government provides sufficient support for their plans to create the UK’s first low carbon industry cluster.
The Energy Industries Council (EIC) hosted by North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA) and Peel L&P Environmental urged Downing Street to put funding in place and build on the local projects already harnessing hydrogen and other alternative forms of power.
Managing director of Peel L&P Environmental Myles Kitcher said: “The opportunities for business across the UK and particularly here in the North West are huge. Meeting our climate change objectives is going to require innovation and new technologies, which means more skills, more jobs and more investment.
“It would be an absolute failure if we end up importing these skills, so we’re calling on Government to act to ensure we have the supply chain here in the UK.”
EIC chief executive Stuart Broadley said that despite being the world’s largest producer of offshore wind, most of the technology is currently imported.
“With new opportunities highlighted by zero carbon legislation, the UK has the chance to learn from offshore wind mistakes, and make sure we not only become world leaders in hydrogen production and CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) but also put in place adequate policies and funding to root this technology in our home-grown supply chain and universities,” he stated.
This would ensure the country became a leading zero carbon technology exporter to the world, rather than just a consumer and importer.
Hydrogen’s potential was a major focus of the event. Unlike natural gas, when pure hydrogen is combined with oxygen and burned it produces no CO2 emissions, only heat and water.
When used in transport to power electric fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen produces no nitrogen oxides or particulate emissions, so used as a transport fuel it could help improve air quality say supporters.
Hydrogen can be stored as a gas or as a liquid, in large amounts and for long periods of time. In the gas network, hydrogen can be stored as pressurised gas ready for use in existing pipelines or at a much larger scale, in salt caverns. It can also be transported in pressurised tanks or bottles or be stored and used in fuel cells, which generate electricity.