Gloucestershire green hydrogen unit gets £2.5m from council

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The green hydrogen plant in Emersons Green aims to decarbonise the long-haul transport industry

A new facility to produce and store green hydrogen is set to receive £2.5m in council funding.

The unit is being developed by Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems in Emersons Green, South Gloucestershire.

It aims to transform industries that are difficult to decarbonise, like aviation, shipping and haulage.

Planes, ships and lorries are mostly too large to be powered by existing electric battery technology.

The plant is due to be operational by spring next year.

Green hydrogen is very expensive, and there are questions over whether enough hydrogen can be made from renewable energy to make it commercially viable.

It currently accounts for around 1% of the hydrogen produced globally.

In its very early stages of development, the fuel is made from water by removing the oxygen through a process called electrolysis, which requires a lot of energy.

‘Advanced propulsion technologies’

Most “grey” hydrogen is currently made through fossil fuel-powered electrolysis.

A key area of research at the new plant will be hydrogen storage, which includes a facility to cool the volatile gas to below -250C, turning it into a liquid.

Finding a practical method of storing hydrogen is seen as key to making it a viable alternative to fossil fuels for the long-distance transport industry.

South Gloucestershire Council leader Toby Savage said the site would “help us deliver the power demands of zero-emissions advanced propulsion technologies”, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Speaking at a council meeting on Friday, Mr Savage added the facility would create more than 250 jobs, safeguard an existing 50 and bring an extra £30m to the regional economy each year.

West of England mayor Dan Norris, added: “This is a key bit of science and it’s great that we are looking at a hydrogen production, storage and research facility, making sure that we’re a leader, not just in the UK but around the world.”

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