Air QualityEnvironment & ClimateHeavy Duty & Off-highwayHydrogenHydrogenMarine & heavy duty

UK Government Hydrogen strategy update highlights H2’s role in decarbonising heavy modes of transport.

By December 14, 2022 No Comments

The UK Government Hydrogen strategy (2021) was first published in conjunction with the 10 point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Under the sub-heading Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen, the original 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution cited plans for developing 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. The focus in the original 10 Point Plan explored how Hydrogen could be developed for heating, could replace fossil fuels like natural gas with hydrogen & develop hydrogen blends. (1)

The 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution alluded to how the growth of a low carbon economy could develop resilient supply chains, support jobs and position UK companies at the forefront of an exciting growing global market, as well help things like industrial processes, industrial heat, power, shipping & trucking to make the shift to net zero. (1)

The UK Hydrogen strategy published in August 2021 recognised that the heavy-duty sector, including marine & aviation, could benefit from the introduction of Hydrogen & in doing so  complement electrification across modes of transport such as buses, trains & heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). (2)

The 2021 strategy acknowledged that Hydrogen was also likely to provide solutions for sectors that would not be able to fully decarbonise otherwise, including aviation & shipping.

Low carbon hydrogen can provide an alternative to petrol, diesel and kerosene as it can be used directly in combustion engines, fuel cells and turbines or as feedstock for production of transport fuels, including ammonia & sustainable aviation fuels. (2)

Since the 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution was released in 2019 & subsequently update in November 2020, the ambition for Hydrogen has increased in the latest update to the Hydrogen strategy.

The latest update to the Hydrogen strategy dated 13 December 2022, cites how the UK Government now has a target of producing 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. This has doubled their previous ambition from the 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution & the Hydrogen Strategy, with at least half of the new 10GW ambition coming from electrolytic hydrogen. (3)

The latest update also recognises that the use of hydrogen in transport is expected to play an important role in decarbonising heavy modes of transport & lighter duty vehicles where energy density requirements, infrastructure constraints & refuelling times favour hydrogen-based fuels. (3)

In recognition of the important role Hydrogen has to play in the decarbonisation of the heavy-duty sector; the latest updates to the Hydrogen strategy announced a series of competitions & research awards including:

  • The launch of the third round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition
  • (CMDC3) on 29 September 2022, with £60 million allocated for technology & system demonstrations. Hydrogen and hydrogen related fuels are in scope.
  • The winners of the second round of Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC2) were announced on 29 September 2022. With over £12 million having been allocated to 31 projects to conduct feasibility studies and pre-deployment trials in clean maritime solutions between January and August 2023; 17 of these projects are also exploring the use of hydrogen & or hydrogen derived fuels.
  • They launched the first funding competitions as part of the Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstrators (ZERFD) programme to demonstrate zero emission HGV technologies, including hydrogen fuel cell, at-scale on UK roads.
  • They have also provided £5.5 million funding via EPSRC in July 2022 for a project using ammonia as a hydrogen carrier in commercial marine vessels & directed £10 million under Innovate UK’s Net Zero Mobility programme to early stage, highly innovative transport propulsion technologies, for which hydrogen is a key thematic area (3)

One of roles Dolphin N2 play in the development of how Hydrogen can be key to decarbonising the heavy-duty, marine & aviation sectors, was recognised when they were announced as winners of HydroMAR-E, part of the second round of Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC2) announced on 29 September 2022. (3)

HydroMAR-E is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2) which was launched in May 2022, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

As part of the CMDC2, the Department allocated over £14m to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions.

The CMDC2 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme.

In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector.

UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

HydroMAR-E will develop a mono-fuel Hydrogen version of the Recuperated Split Cycle Engine.

This highly innovative thermal engine can be used in a range of heavy duty applications for land and sea. It offers very high efficiency (competitive with a PEM fuel cell), very low emissions (SULEV with aftertreatment), and ease of transition (existing ICE manufacture and installation requirements; moderate capital cost increase).

Uniquely, and unlike a standard ICE, the RSCE has demonstrated ability to use Diesel, Methane and Hydrogen in the same core engine (and has potential for the same with Ammonia or Methanol) with the same high efficiency and low emissions, enabling a rapid transition as future fuels become more widely available.

HydroMAR-E will use a laboratory single cylinder engine, which has already demonstrated starting and running, to develop this spark-guided system to TRL4, then a multi-cylinder prototype to demonstrate TRL5 in readiness for future application demonstration in marine (and other) environments. Supporting work will develop an improved recuperator system, and review marinization, installation, vessel systems and regulatory aspects.

The project brings together the technology developer Dolphin N2 (Part of the Iveco Group, a global supplier of marine engines in the 100-600kW range), Brighton University (the UK APC’s Thermal Propulsion Efficiency spoke), leading marine architects BMT, and recuperator technology developer Hiflux. (4)

Written & cited by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.