Energy crisis: New hydrogen plant to help UK slash ‘gas imports from overseas’

Video shows electrolysis of water into oxygen and hydrogen

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As the energy crisis continues to wreak havoc on consumers forking out more and more to pay soaring bills, the Government has been scrambling for alternatives. One answer to avoiding dishing out cash for expensive foreign gas imports has been to boost the UK’s renewable capacity and, now, there is a wealth of projects in the pipeline to do just that. One of those is the Trafford Green Hydrogen in Carrington, which is expected as early as 2024.

Run by Carlton Power, which is seeking planning permission from Trafford and Salford councils, the project would be the largest hydrogen production unit in the country.

The project would produce green hydrogen fuel for transport and heating.

This is a renewable energy source which would not only help the UK to slash emissions but also reduce the country’s reliance on gas for power.

It is created through a chemical process called electrolysis and where electrical current separates the hydrogen from oxygen in water.

Eric Adams, project lead for Trafford Green Hydrogen, said: “Hydrogen, and especially green hydrogen produced from renewable energy, is key to the green transition.

“Hydrogen will enable users of natural gas to transition to net zero, while the deployment of electrolytic hydrogen projects will enable increased deployment of new renewable generators throughout the UK to reduce the overall carbon intensity of the electricity supply industry.”

He added: “The Government’s Energy Security Strategy, of which Hydrogen Investment Packages forms a key element, is intended to enable the production of hydrogen within the UK which will in turn reduce the reliance on imports of natural gas from overseas.“

The Government drew up its Energy Security Strategy in April, a £375million package which supports innovative energy technologies to help power British homes and businesses over the coming years.

In total, £240million of the package is geared towards hydrogen projects as part of the Hydrogen Investment Package.

Mr Adams told Express.co.uk the Trafford Green Hydrogen project will apply for funding via the Hydrogen Investment Package in the first allocation round due to open in July 2022.

The development will have an ultimate capacity of 200MW.

This amount of energy is enough to power 38,000 homes.

The Government’s UK Hydrogen Strategy, published last year, plans for “5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for use across the economy”.

It adds: “This could produce hydrogen equivalent to the amount of gas consumed by over 3 million households in the UK each year.”

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But the project in Trafford is focussed on providing industrial and commercial customers with hydrogen.

According to Mr Adams, there is an initial 10MW phase, which the company is trying to raise £25million to £30million of investment for.

The project aims to be part of the Trafford Low Carbon Energy Park.

This also includes one of the biggest liquid air energy storage schemes in Europe, as well as one of the largest battery storage schemes in the country.

While there are a range of hydrogen schemes in the UK to see whether it could be the solution to the deepening crisis, Mr Adams stressed that Britain should not place all its eggs in one basket.

He said: “While there are various hydrogen trials ongoing around the UK regarding the use of hydrogen to residential customers, it’s not yet possible to determine whether hydrogen is a solution to the current energy crisis, notwithstanding the need to build hydrogen infrastructure.”

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