Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe which has long been suggested as a potential energy solution.
Not only providing a low-carbon energy source to power land, water and air transport, heat our homes and even decarbonise high-emitting industries, the introduction of a hydrogen economy could also allow UK businesses to innovate and lead the future for the whole world.
Last year, the UK Government confirmed that electrolytic hydrogen is a key part of its plans to reach Net Zero, with aims to increase production to 10GW by 2030.
But how do we bring hydrogen into the mainstream? How do businesses get in on the action so that they can be at the forefront of the future?
Hydrogen is incredibly versatile in its supply, production and uses, and perhaps most prominently, it could make a significant contribution to tackling climate change due to being a low-carbon source.
Using hydrogen offers the potential to reduce the cost of energy generation in the UK, to improve energy security by not outsourcing to other countries, and to be able to supply and use the decarbonised energy across domestic and industry settings through a unique simultaneous infrastructure which breaks down the traditional boundaries between sectors.
These benefits mean that the UK could be positioned to capitalise on global supply chain opportunities, create tens of thousands of jobs and become a leader in innovation - something which businesses should get involved in at the very start.
In South Wales and western England, a pan-regional partnership, the Western Gateway, is already ready to turbocharge the UK’s development of hydrogen as a clean and green energy source of the future.
It is connecting businesses, academics and local authorities to develop hydrogen to power many parts of our future Net Zero economy, aiming to add an extra £34bn to the economy by 2030.
Its research, innovation, talent and facilities make the Western Gateway uniquely poised to unlock the clean energy potential of solar, wind, tidal and nuclear energy technologies in the form of a Green Energy Super Cluster - something that could potentially deliver on at least half of the Government's 10GW hydrogen production ambition, all in one place.
Enter the Hydrogen Gateway
Kickstarting this hydrogen journey is the Western Gateway’s free Hydrogen Gateway conference taking place this June.
A way to make sure you’re involved at the beginning of the mission set to change the landscape of the UK, the conference will drive forward collaboration and provide a platform to speed up the transition to this transformative clean fuel.
It will showcase hydrogen development on a national stage, featuring a programme of high-profile speakers such as UK and Welsh Government ministers and industry professionals who will discuss the broader Net Zero strategy, and present exhibitions demonstrating technological breakthroughs.
They will be followed by workshops to improve understanding of hydrogen as an energy source, and panels between businesses and the public sector answering questions and discussing the opportunities for development, how to overcome current barriers, and how hydrogen can be used in everyday settings - including supply and distribution, transport, finances and investment, professional services and more.
The event will bring together expertise from across the board, with conference partners including Hydrogen South West, a business network including Airbus, easyJet, EDF’s Hynamics, GKN Aerospace, Wales and West Utilities, and YTL Wessex Water; the South Wales Industrial Cluster which represents the industrial businesses across South Wales; and the GW4 Alliance which brings together the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.
Completely free, it’s the perfect chance to understand the new hydrogen economy and be ready to take full advantage of what could transform businesses and the UK as a whole.
Register for the Hydrogen Gateway conference taking place on Friday, June 9, 2023, at the ICC Wales here.
Find out more about Western Gateway and its Hydrogen Ecosystem at western-gateway.co.uk.