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R&D projects to demonstrate shape of future UK integrated hydrogen infrastructure

18 July 2012

Five government-backed research and development projects are set to speed-up the adoption of energy systems using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, bringing them into everyday use. Funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the projects will demonstrate the use of fuel cell systems and hydrogen technologies in low carbon energy systems and transport.

Greg Barker
Greg Barker

The five projects, selected through a competitive process, will be led by Air Products plc, BOC Ltd, ITM Power (Trading), Rutland Management Ltd and SSE plc.  They will involve:

- The creation of the UK’s first end-to-end, integrated, green hydrogen production, distribution and retailing system, centred around a fully publically accessible, state-of-the-art 700bar renewable H2 refuelling station network across London (Air Products plc). 

- The delivery of solar energy generated hydrogen for Swindon’s existing public access H2 refuelling station via an electrolyser, and its use in materials handling vehicles and light vans at Honda’s manufacturing plant (BOC Ltd). 

- The integration, on the Isle of Wight, of an electrolyser based refueller with renewable energy, enabling zero carbon hydrogen to be produced for use as a transport fuel for a range of vehicles. (ITM Power). 

- The demonstration of a viable solar-hydrogen energy system, with benefits shared by multiple end users of a business park in Surrey, through the 24/7 provision of green electricity and heat (Rutland Management Ltd). 

- The demonstration of a whole renewable hydrogen system, connecting a 1MWe electrolyser to the grid, in conjunction with an Aberdeenshire wind farm, to explore the grid impacts and energy storage potential of hydrogen generation, and to provide the green hydrogen produced to power a fleet of fuel cell buses (SSE plc). 

The Technology Strategy Board and DECC will provide grant funding of £9m and the total value of the projects, including contributions from the industrial partners, is in excess of £19m.  These projects build on previous government support for fuel cells and hydrogen systems, accelerating the process toward commercialisation.

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker (pictured) said: “Hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies are at the cutting edge of new low carbon energy solutions. We need to see how these technologies can be integrated with other energy and transport products, and these exciting government-supported projects will do just that.  We look forward to seeing the results.”

For more information about the Technology Strategy Board's work on hydrogen systems integration, click here.

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