How can hydrogen hubs help councils to decarbonise transport and deliver on their net zero pledges?
It is now widely accepted that hydrogen, both as a means of storing clean electricity and as a source of emissions-free fuel, must form part of any realistic plan to reach net zero by 2050. In his book ‘What We Need to Do Now’, climate change expert Chris Goodall argues that hydrogen should be used “to fuel our trains, shipping, boilers and heavy industry.” Bill Gates also talks about hydrogen in his new book ‘How to Avoid A Climate Disaster’ – and has even commissioned a £500 million hydrogen fuelled super yacht, due for launch in 2024.
The Government has already cited hydrogen as one of the key pillars in its ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, and, with the publication of ‘Bus Back Better: National Bus Strategy for England’ has further signposted hydrogen as a fuel to support its ambition to achieve a net-zero bus fleets. The message from the strategy is clear “…all LTAs to work with bus operators and energy providers to decarbonise the local bus fleet in their Bus Service Improvement Plans.”
Backing up the National Bus Strategy, The Department for Transport has now launched a competitive ‘ZEBRA’ grant scheme to make funding available for hydrogen buses and infrastructure.
While government initiatives, like the Bus Back better strategy, can play a big role in helping hydrogen infrastructure projects to get off the ground, they can only go so far. For green hydrogen to become an economically viable energy solution, it needs to reach price parity with diesel – and that can only happen if public and private organisations invest in the infrastructure for hydrogen production, storage and supply.
Councils and local authorities are really well placed to invest in in hydrogen re-fuelling hubs, as many of them operate fleets of large vehicles – from buses to service vehicles and refuse trucks. Hydrogen is the most efficient way to decarbonise these transport hubs – and once the infrastructure is in place, it becomes viable for other vehicles to convert to hydrogen, too. Some councils are already taking action – but if you’re not sure where to start or are looking for more information on what you need to consider , we have produced a practical guide for councils and local authorities: Decarbonising Transport with Hydrogen Hubs
Topics covered in the guide include:
- Whether hydrogen suits the kind of vehicles you wish to refuel
- If you have a large enough fleet to make the investment worthwhile
- How big the refuelling site would need to be – and where to locate it
- What to do if there are no renewable energy assets nearby to provide green electricity.
You’ll also learn about our successful Kittybrewster hydrogen refuelling station in Aberdeen, and how to get started on your own hydrogen infrastructure project – download your guide today