UK Transport Decarbonisation Plan gets NI welcome

Posted By:
Belfast Metropolitan College

22nd Jul 2021

The UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has just launched the Transport Decarbonisation Plan which has been welcomed by Paul McCormack, Programme Manager of the EU GenComm renewable hydrogen project.

In the report, ‘Decarbonising Transport, a better greener Britain’ in the section ‘Examples of place based solutions to decarbonising transport across the UK’ reference is made to how hydrogen produced from curtailed wind in Co Antrim will supply fuel at Northern Irelands first hydrogen refuelling station in Belfast.

Looking at hydrogens future role, Mr Shapps points out: “Our dedicated R and D funding and support is now focussed on rail, maritime, aviation and heavy road freight, sectors where there is not yet a proven winning technology, where hydrogen offers in use advantages and the largest global market potential. We want to maximise its potential alongside electrification on trains, buses and coaches.”

Three million pounds has been invested this year in the UKs first multi modal hydrogen transport hub in Tees Valley and government will deliver a sector wide hydrogen strategy including its role for transport. The DFT focus is on the use of genuinely ‘green’ hydrogen maximising its opportunities so that it can play a full part in our renewable energy system. The Department also states that ‘We are well positioned to lead on the production of green hydrogen with significant technical expertise in electrolysers from world leading companies such as ITM Power.”

There is also a commitment to expand the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to encourage hydrogen use in more transport sectors as well as the Bus Service Operators Grant to support bus operators to buy zero emission buses (Hydrogen and EVs).

GenComm Programme Manager, Paul McCormack, welcomed the role of hydrogen in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, saying : “Whilst the Transport Decarbonisation Plan is focused on England it shows the broader UK approach and this has many indicators and opportunities for transport in Northern Ireland. This plan sets the tone, pace and direction for zero carbon mobility and will assist NI in developing focused, dedicated commercial opportunities in the Green economy.”