West of England can lead UK’s hydrogen revolution, says regional business group

August 20, 2021

The government’s long-awaited strategy for the UK’s burgeoning hydrogen sector – which it says could create thousands of sustainable jobs and unlock billions of pounds of investment – has been welcomed by the region’s largest business group.

Business West, which runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, believes the West of England can be a powerhouse for the hydrogen revolution envisaged by the strategy. 

The report claims that as much as 35% of the UK’s energy consumption could be hydrogen-based by 2050 – and Business West says the region is well placed to lead in areas such as transport, aviation and even production of so-called pink hydrogen, which can be generated its nuclear power plants.

Business West head of climate strategy Nina Skubala, pictured, said: “The much awaited hydrogen strategy rightly identifies hydrogen as playing a key role in decarbonisation, while it can have many applications, it’s all about creating it without generating carbon and finding the right job for it to do.”

She said while its role in heating homes was limited, for power, industry and parts of the transport sector it offered fantastic opportunities to decarbonise. 

“Here in the West we have a number of assets that help us grow a hydrogen economy. Our motorway system, port, airport and industry.

“We also have the means to create pink hydrogen using nuclear and small modular reactors.”

Earlier this year the potential of hydrogen to spark a revolution in the West of England’s industrial base was explored at the Virtual Hydrogen Summit, the first event of its kind.

Staged by the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF), which represents many of the region’s aerospace and defence businesses, it looked at the potential of hydrogen as a catalyst for the development of a new industrial ecosystem, bringing together the design, test and manufacturing expertise of the region.

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