UK’s first Green Hydrogen production facility set to open

Published:  23 May, 2022

The first Green Hydrogen manufacturing plant in the UK’s South West is set to be built at the new Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) research facility at the Bristol and Bath Science Park.

The new hydrogen production and storage facility will become operational in Spring 2023, while the IAAPS facility, which becomes operational this summer (2022). The hydrogen facility has been made possible due to a successful £2.5M bid to the UK Research Partnership Innovation Fund (RPIF) and will allow IAAPS to sustainably produce the gas for its research and testing work.

Green Hydrogen will help meet IAAPS aims and add to UK Net Zero efforts

The new manufacturing capability will address several key objectives for IAAPS, including:

Decarbonising the energy used on the IAAPS site by reducing the whole building carbon footprint, helping toward the transition to net zero

Supporting vital research and innovation into sustainable propulsion technologies and the use of hydrogen as an alternative green energy to achieve net zero targets, in particular in the hard-to-electrify sectors such as aviation, marine, off-highway and heavy-duty transport

 Acting as a regional and national demonstrator for local green energy generation and use, as well as a catalyst for the adoption of hydrogen across a wide range of applications

The Green Hydrogen plant will form a key strategic element for the University of Bath’s IAAPS, which is a world-leading centre of excellence for research, innovation, enterprise and education, supporting the future direction of the transport industry and the transition towards net zero.

A new strategic asset, part of a growing network of expertise

This Green Hydrogen production and storage facility will form the basis of a regional H2 and Sustainable Transport Acceleration Hub, working with over 30 cross-sector partners to stimulate green growth in the region and to provide an important link in the national hydrogen research infrastructure.

By delivering the new hydrogen production and research facilities, IAAPS directly supports an important outcome of COP 26, the Breakthrough Agenda, and its ambitious goals to dramatically fast-track the deployment of clean technologies to meet climate change targets, and strengthens the UK Government’s Hydrogen Strategy to ensure affordable, low-carbon hydrogen is broadly available by 2030.

The Green Hydrogen facility positions IAAPS and the University of Bath at the forefront of hydrogen research and innovation, leading strategic partnerships and playing a vital role in the adoption of sustainable solutions within the transport and built environment sectors.

On the creation of the Green Hydrogen generation facility, Professor Chris Brace, academic director, IAAPS, says:

“IAAPS is already widely recognised as a collaborative hub for research and innovation, and a partner of choice for both private and public sector clients covering the breadth of the transport industry. In working with a diverse range of organisations, including industry leaders, innovators, academics, legislators and SMEs, we are setting the pace in the adoption of net zero technology by a much broader range of stakeholders.

“The IAAPS team boasts a strong track record of delivering impactful research with real-world application, and I am confident that the Green Hydrogen facility is not only an important expansion of our remit and R&I portfolio, but also brings value to the industry as a whole and significantly advances the technologies needed to transition to a net zero society and economy.”

Research England executive chair, David Sweeney:

“The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund has a strong track record in funding state-of-art facilities that support world-leading research and strengthen partnerships between universities and other organisations active in research.

“By piloting these innovative approaches to tackling net zero in infrastructure, we hope that this scheme will help us to learn more about what works so that we and the HE sector can factor this into future activity and build upon the already successful UKRPIF model.”

Professor Duncan Wingham, executive chair of NERC and sponsor for Environmental Sustainability and Net Zero in UKRI:

“Our Environmental Sustainability Strategy commits UKRI to supporting the research sector to reduce its negative environmental impacts. This funding will help these leading national centres and facilities develop innovative solutions to reducing energy demand and increasing the use of renewable power in some unique research environments.

“UKRI is proud of its role in helping reduce carbon emissions from delivering cutting-edge research outputs in support of institutional and national net zero targets.”

The news follows the recent announcement that Bath’s Professor Tim Mays will become one of two UK Hydrogen Research Co-ordinators who aim over the next six months to establish national Centres of Excellence, aimed at tackling the research challenges blocking the wider use of Green Hydrogen in the UK.

University of Bath is set to begin research into how hydrogen fuels can be more widely-used

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