In November 2020 the UK Government announced its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in & in point two of the plan they laid out their plans for a low carbon hydrogen economy:
‘Working alongside partners in industry, our aim is for the UK to develop 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 that could see the UK benefit from around 8,000 jobs across our industrial heartlands and beyond.
This will be supported by a range of measures, including a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, and setting out next year (2021), our hydrogen business models and a revenue mechanism for them to bring through private sector investment. ‘(1)
Government analysis suggests that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based, helping to cut emissions by 78% by 2035.
When the UK Government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced its vision for a world-leading hydrogen economy August 2021; it was a landmark moment & recognition of the need for a low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK.
Hydrogen has become crucial as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel & or electrification in industry, manufacturing, heating & transport sectors alike.
Many of the leading heavy duty & off-highway manufacturers such as JCB, Cummins, Iveco Group & CNH Industrial, already have hydrogen fuelled vehicles in their fleets & with more investment in hydrogen only going to strengthen & support it’s use as a low carbon fuel; the hydrogen economy can only continue to grow.
Providing support to polluting industries to significantly slash their emissions, BEIS announced (2021) a £105 million funding package through the UK Government Net Zero Innovation Portfolio which would act as a first step to build up Britain’s low carbon hydrogen economy. The investment is intended to help industries to develop low carbon alternatives for industrial fuels, including hydrogen, which will be key to meeting climate commitments. (2)
One area that significantly affects the off-highway & heavy duty sectors, was the announcement of a £40M Red Diesel Replacement Competition (August 2021)
BEIS awarded £6.7 million in grant funding across 17 projects for Phase 1, with up to £460,000 per project.
Lot 1: Distribution, storage and energy delivery systems development
Lot 2: Development of equipment (components/sub-systems) and fleet management infrastructure (facilities for maintaining, hosting and servicing vehicles)
Lot 3: Fuel development (3)
Red diesel is reportedly responsible for the production of nearly 14 million tonnes of carbon each year & being a fuel used primarily for such off-highway purposes as bulldozers, excavators, tipper trucks & on-site generator sets – all essential in the construction business – alternative fuels which have a proven track record are needed to be sought.
Providing grant funding for the development & demonstration of low carbon alternatives to diesel for the construction, quarrying & mining sectors, the UK Government competition was designed with the aim of decarbonising industries reliant on red diesel & providing a platform for alternative research & development in this area. (2)
One of the successful projects ‘HYDRATE’ was awarded to Dolphin N2:
HYDRATE – Hydrogen Recuperated Advanced Thermal Engine
Lead Partner: Dolphin N2 Limited
Partners: University of Brighton; Costain Limited
Total grant: £448,611.78
The HYDRATE project will develop a Hydrogen version of the Recuperated Split Cycle Engine (RSCE), a highly innovative, fuel-agnostic thermal engine targeting heavy duty applications.
The RSCE offers very high efficiency (competitive with a PEM fuel cell), and very low emissions (SULEV with aftertreatment).
It also offers an easy route to transition to a net-zero economy, as it can use existing ICE manufacture and supply chains, and match existing ICE installation requirements, all with a moderate capital cost increase).
Written & cited by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.