IAAPS among key organisations in South West’s Hydrogen Ecosystem

03 August 2022

IAAPS is among a number of key research and innovation institutions, businesses, industries and local authorities which form part of a new regional hydrogen network, having been recognised for their pioneering roles in the field.

South West England and South Wales are to become the UK’s first Hydrogen Ecosystem to lead the development of low carbon energy to help reach climate change goals. The GW4 Alliance in partnership with Western Gateway have unveiled a new vision which sets out how the region is accelerating the development of a hydrogen economy.

The newly launched strategy document and interactive digital map demonstrate the breadth, scale and potential of hydrogen activity across the South West and highlight the wide range of organisations across the area that are already working on a range of different potential applications for this energy system. 

IAAPS is at the forefront of hydrogen R&I, having recently announced it is to install a green hydrogen manufacturing capability at its new facility, set to be operational in spring 2023, which will decarbonise the energy used on site and support vital research and innovation into the use of hydrogen as an alternative green energy, therefore playing a vital role in fast-tracking the adoption of hydrogen technologies within the transport and built environment sectors.

Low carbon hydrogen generation is seen as a clean energy solution to aid the transition to net zero and tackle the global climate change crisis. Hydrogen is currently being trialled as a potential low carbon energy source to power transport, distribution and shipping needs as well as heat homes and decarbonise industry. Using hydrogen as an energy source has been highlighted as a key ambition of the UK Government plans to reach Net Zero, with aims to increase production to 10GW by 2030 and the announcement of a new national Hydrogen Champion.

The Western Gateway is the pan-regional partnership for South Wales and Western England, connecting businesses, academia and government from both sides of the union to collaborate and create new opportunities for the 4.4 million people who live across the South West Region. The GW4 Alliance, meanwhile, brings together four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the UK, including the University of Bath, which owns IAAPS, as well as the universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.

Commenting on the South West’s Hydrogen Ecosystem, Katherine Bennett CBE, Chair of the Western Gateway Partnership, said: “From Swansea to Swindon, the Western Gateway has been leading the way in developing hydrogen as a clean energy source to power our future economy. Hydrogen could provide a solution for many of the persistent challenges we face in trying to decarbonise our global energy system.

“By launching this new Hydrogen Ecosystem, our partnership is creating a mechanism to encourage collaboration across industry to ensure we are turbocharging the development of this clean energy to bring it to the market.  We want to send the message that investing in the Western Gateway area gives you access to the wide range of industries and avenues to international trade needed to bring hydrogen use into the mainstream.”

This was mirrored by Professor Lisa Roberts, Chair of GW4 Council and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at the University of Exeter: “Tackling climate change and accelerating to net zero requires innovative, whole system solutions. Our academics are at the forefront of new and innovative research, from hydrogen storage batteries to cleaner, smarter propulsion systems.”

“Working closely with the Western Gateway, GW4 universities are primed and ready to harness our specialist expertise, regional assets and world-class facilities to help develop and deliver a thriving hydrogen ecosystem for the South West and South Wales area.”

To access the Hydrogen Ecosystem vision, click here.

To access the digital map, click here.

03 August 2022