The creation of a hydrogen economy will be a key component of decarbonising the Humber and wider Yorkshire region. Hydrogen is a low-carbon fuel that can be used in power, transport, heating and as a form of short-term energy storage.
Many in the Humber region and beyond are now looking to hydrogen as one of the key fuels of the future. It can be blended with natural gas to lower the carbon footprint of domestic heating, and to a greater degree in industrial manufacturing where high temperatures are required, such as in steel and chemicals. Lowering the carbon emissions from heating can make a huge impact on overall emissions whilst opening new opportunities for greener steel and chemicals to become competitive in an increasingly environmentally-conscious international market.
Additionally, many forms of transport are currently trialling hydrogen as a low-carbon alternative to oil-based fuels. Hydrogen-powered trains have recently made their first trial journeys on UK railways, whilst hydrogen cars are available from some manufacturers. Ferries powered by hydrogen are undergoing trials.
If we are to take advantage of these undeniable opportunities, the UK will require a source of low carbon hydrogen at a commercial scale, as envisaged in the Climate Change Committee’s “Net Zero” report. Currently this can only be achieved through reforming natural gas, a tried and tested process which is used throughout the world, and which uses carbon capture to prevent the CO2 by-product being released into the atmosphere. By stimulating market demand for the fuel, it also opens the gateway for greener forms of hydrogen to be produced more competitively in future.
The Zero Carbon Humber proposals offer low carbon hydrogen production at scale via the H2H Saltend site, as well as at multiple other sites along the pipeline infrastructure’s route.