Midlands Engine Hydrogen Technologies Strategy launched

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Strategy demonstrates Midlands ability to deliver, by 2041: • £10bn GVA to the Midlands and UK economy • 29% CO2 reduction against current levels • 167,000 new or safeguarded jobs

The Midlands is the manufacturing heartland of the UK, with unrivalled expertise and capacity to make and apply low carbon hydrogen technologies to deliver net zero. It is hydrogen technologies that have the power to connect hydrogen generators and end users – and it is the Midlands that has the power to make those technologies, for use in areas as diverse as transport, domestic heating and off grid power supplies.

Driven by industry and in partnership with the public sector and academia, the rapidly growing Hydrogen Technologies Valley in the Midlands continues to go from strength to strength: an ecosystem of innovation and infrastructure that enables hydrogen technologies to be developed, commercialised and industrialised, at scale. Launching today [14 Dec 2021], the pioneering Midlands Engine Hydrogen Technologies Strategy has been co-created by partners from right across the region to crystallise and champion the pivotal role the Midlands can play in low carbon hydrogen, to achieve government ambitions to expand the UK hydrogen economy and drive sustainable growth.

The Midlands Engine Hydrogen Technologies Strategy is part of the pan-regional partnership’s wider Ten Point Plan for Green Growth which is galvanising action for a cleaner, greener, better Midlands. Its publication represents a significant milestone in the region’s accelerated transition to net zero. Independent analysis demonstrates that mobilising to implement the ten actions set out in the strategy could deliver 167,000 new or safeguarded jobs, £10bn GVA to the Midlands and UK economy and 29% CO2 reduction against current levels in the next ten years – through these interventions alone.

The strategy also underlines the unparalleled regional unity the Midlands demonstrates around the green growth and the net zero agenda – with active leadership from industry partners including EDF Energy, JCB, Worcester Bosch and Intelligent Energy; input from academic institutions such as the University of Nottingham and Energy Research Accelerator; and clear political support from both government and opposition parties.

Key outcomes from the Hydrogen Technologies Strategy are already being accelerated, including Midlands Engine partners leading the H2GVMids consortium, preparing the ground for a green-hydrogen fuelled 44-tonne truck demonstration programme in the Midlands – a programme the region is perfectly located to lead, right at the heart of UK logistics. And beyond low carbon hydrogen, the Midlands Engine partnership is spearheading pan-regional action with a focus on green buildings, net zero transport, clean and smart energy, and crucial enablers including green innovation, the energy workforce and green finance.

Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine, said: “With bold ambition and real pace, the Midlands Engine partnership is taking the national lead to pioneer, commercialise and deliver the technologies that will unlock low carbon hydrogen opportunities. The Midlands is the UK’s manufacturing heartland and one of the most important national locations for hydrogen innovation and application, with a distinct blend of diverse manufacturing ingenuity and capability, world-leading commercial, industrial and academic innovation, and ideal geographic location.

“By championing the role and work of our partners in developing next-generation hydrogen technologies, the Midlands Engine Hydrogen Technologies Strategy identifies the unique leadership role the Midlands can and will play in delivering government low carbon hydrogen ambitions – for the good of our environment and our economy.”

Rachael Greenwood, Executive Director of the Midlands Engine, said: “Today marks a significant moment for the Midlands as we outline and evidence our region’s unrivalled leadership in the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies across a range of sectors. Co-authored by Midlands Engine partners from across our region, this Hydrogen Technologies Strategy highlights our region’s opportunity to generate over 85,000 jobs through the production, storage and supply of hydrogen, over 60,000 jobs through decarbonising HGVs and refuelling infrastructure, and almost 2,000 jobs when using hydrogen as an alternative aviation fuel – all with the potential to contribute £10bn GVA to the Midlands economy. Once again, our partners have demonstrated their position as experts in the delivery of the government’s ambitious decarbonisation plans, and the vision to level up across the UK through growth in sectors which are key to cutting emissions.”

Darren Jones MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, said: “Government should support industry to trial, scale up and demonstrate hydrogen technologies as an alternative to fossil fuels across our industry. The Midlands Engine Hydrogen Technologies Strategy provides a framework for this vision across the Midlands, highlighting regional opportunities for the use of hydrogen technologies and the benefits of so doing to the local economy, employment and skills opportunities, as well as the climate.”

Click here to download the strategy document

Lisa Buck

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