Hydrogen highway to boost green transport

Green funding could see the M4 corridor become a 'hydrogen highway' with millions of pounds of investment poured into the region.

Energy minister Lord Hunt today (February 12) announced a scheme investing more than £7m in hydrogen technologies along the corridor.

He announced 15 demonstrator projects to showcase ‘innovative technologies’ which once fully developed, he hopes will contribute to meeting UK and EU climate change targets.

This includes plans to allow drivers on the M4 in Wales to refuel with hydrogen, or recharge if electric, along the motorway.

The minister hopes capital funding provided by the programme, devised by the Department for Energy and Climate change (DECC) and the Technology Strategy Board, will speed these schemes to the commercial market.

Lord hunt believes UK capabilities in hydrogen will be boosted with the creation of a sixth Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA) stretching from south Wales to Swindon.

Speaking at Johnson Matthey in Swindon, who will receive a share of £7.2m of funding to develop hydrogen and fuel cell technology, Lord Hunt said it would ‘build expertise’ to develop hydrogen on a commercial basis.

The funding will also see the University of Glamorgan invest £6.3m in developing new processes, products and services as part of the CymruH2Wales project.

It will also create 23 new research staff over the next three years and a further 63 permanent jobs in hydrogen energy.

Lord Hunt said: “Cleaning up our energy supply and the fuel we use for transport will give the UK the opportunity to develop the low carbon industries of the future.

“Fuel cells and hydrogen can play a key role in cutting CO2 emissions and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.”

Technology Strategy Board chief executive Iain Gray, added: “By providing capital funding towards the cost of demonstration, this important programme will enable British companies to collaborate to commercialise fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.”

Luke Walsh

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