High hopes for hydrogen power

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A hydrogen production project is to be developed at EDF’s Heysham nuclear power site on the west coast of the UK.

The Hydrogen to Heysham (H2H) project is being led by EDF Energy R&D together with consortium members Heysham Nuclear Power Stations, Lancaster University, Atkins, European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER) and EDF Group’s Hydrogen subsidiary Hynamics. Funding for the project has been provided through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £20 million Hydrogen Supply programme.

The project has two stages

  1. A feasibility study expected to be completed this Autumn.
  2. A pilot phase from 2020 to demonstrate the technology.

The project aims to make use of low carbon from nuclear power to produce hydrogen gas in bulk using electrolysis technology. Hydrogen produced from the system could then be used to supply vehicles, industrial processes or even for injection into the UK’s gas network.

Energy expert view

“It is encouraging to see growing interest in developing hydrogen as a ‘cleaner’ fuel, particularly if it can be produced using near zero carbon energy and at scale.

“There will of course be challenges in developing its use widely, particularly in transport where electric and battery technology is growing rapidly, but it could be that hydrogen becomes an important part of the low carbon energy mix across most sectors over the coming years.” Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons

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