If you have been keeping up to date with @brambleenergy over the last few weeks then you will know we have been busily moving forward with our next chapter but this week we thought we would stop and take stock of everything that has been happening in the world of hydrogen technology – which has been a lot!
Whilst we have been building, painting, testing, “zooming” – the world was still moving and although hydrogen going mainstream has long been in the pipeline, lately we have seen real pace build behind this innovative & exciting industry and we see more and more news about success stories that could actually make a real difference to the world we live in and yes that includes us at Bramble Energy! Not that we want to blow our own trumpet or anything!
Over the last few days, we have seen some serious milestones being hit on the UK’s decarbonisation pathway using hydrogen technology. Here at Bramble we love hearing about success in our field and this week there seemed to be a lot of it!
On the 24th September, a flight capable of carrying passengers, carried out by sustainable aviation company ZeroAvia, took to the skies above Cranfield for a 20-minute journey. The difference between this aircraft and all the others flying through the sky on that day was this 6-seater aircraft was powered by hydrogen fuel cells releasing no emissions just water!
ZeroAvia hope that their next move will be to carry out a 250-mile flight, equivalent to London to Edinburgh, by the end of the year. With the travel industry being brought to its knees by Coronavirus, it would be amazing to think that it could be rebuilt around completely green goals in perhaps the not too distant future.
On Wednesday, the HydroFLEX train took its’ maiden trip on Britain’s railway with a 25-mile round journey through Warwickshire reaching speeds of up to 50mph, setting a record for the prototype. Although there are other hydrogen fuel cell trains being tested with companies like Alstom trialling their Coradia iLint over the course of eighteen months in Germany, achieving 180,000 driven kilometres with a full service expected to begin in 2022. The HydroFLEX trial was a first for the UK. The decarbonisation of our railways will be a combination of technologies, but hydrogen really offers the best green solution for rural routes where there aren’t overhead wires or electricity available and hydrogen trains, just like fuel cell vehicles are so quiet offering a significant reduction in noise pollution!
Alongside this, the current Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced Tees Valley will be the location for a UK Hydrogen Transport Hub. This hub will bring together experts from academia, industry & government to embrace the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, creating hundreds of jobs and making the region a leader in the green energy sector.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also the news that Glasgow has received £6.3 million of the Government’s £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme fund for a hydrogen refuelling station and 19 refuse trucks – cleaning up the streets and the air ahead of the city hosting COP26 in 2021. This fleet of refuse trucks will be the world’s largest and really puts Glasgow at the forefront of this type of green transport technology.
Also, this week, oil giant Shell released a new report “Decarbonising Shipping: Setting Shell’s Course” which focuses on the important role hydrogen and fuel cells will play in the shipping industry reaching a 2050 Net Zero goal. Unfortunately, they also announced plans to cut 9,000 jobs from their workforce as they attempt to move away from oil exploration and production and grow their role in low carbon energies including the hydrogen sector. This move echoes that of BP who also plan to make huge cuts to their workforce and reach a 40% reduction in gas and oil production by 2030. Obviously, the oil industry has a long way to go to move away from their traditional structures but their interests and investment in new energy technology can only be a good thing which we hope will also go a long way in providing more sustainable green jobs for the future.
We can only imagine what else might come next and we are excited to be a company that is Powering Net Zero as the UK strives to #buildbackbetter!
Bramble Energy Team
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