“To meet net-zero, all stakeholders must work together in pursuing all technology options with low carbon fuels and hydrogen, along with battery and electrification.”
That’s according to a new report published today (17th March) by the United Kingdom Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA).
Future of Mobility in the UK considers the emerging trends, technologies and paradigm shifts that can combine to deliver a decarbonised transport sector in the UK.
Recognising the role that hydrogen could play in such efforts, the report reads, “On the road, hydrogen is most suitable for long-range and/or heavier duty applications where there is a capacitive fleet returning to depots or re-energising hubs may support long-range travel.”
“Light duty vehicles with high levels of utilisation may also be better suited to hydrogen-based propulsion owing to the shorter re-energising periods offered.”
Whilst the report recognises the advantages of fuel cell electric vehicle deployment, it also notes some challenges, stating infrastructure as one of these.
“For now, a significant drawback of hydrogen use in road transport is the lack of infrastructure,” the report reads.
“The European Automobile Manufacturers Assortation (ACEA) have identified that at least 500 refuelling stations are required across Europe by 2030 to satisfy hydrogen heavy good vehicle (HGV) energy demands.”
Although road transportation is undoubtably a major focus for the report, non-road transport is discussed, and hydrogen is also posed as a suitable alternative fuel for this.
Off the road
Mentioning non-road transportation, the report notes that hydrogen is also suitable for air travel, giving commandments to both the UK’s first trial of hydrogen-powered plane and Airbus’ ambition to develop the world’s first hydrogen propelled commercial aircraft.
“Longer-term, short flights may be served by hydrogen propelled aircraft, such as those recently announced by Airbus.”
“The growth of hydrogen for short-haul flights will be highly contingent on the implementation of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the UK and European airports, as well as the ability to deal with challenges of safe storage and safe carriage.”
As well as aircraft, changes as sea are highlighted by UKPIA and again, hydrogen is recognised as a well-suited alternative fuel. Referring to current projects, the report commends the Havyard Group.
“The potential for use of hydrogen for longer international shipping routes may also be limited, although it has been proposed that hydrogen could be a viable energy source for 43% of current China-USA trade.”
“Current infrastructure for hydrogen supply at ports is currently limited and needs to be in place at both departure and arrival locations before long distance use can be considered.”
“Hydrogen production and supply would also need to increase, but the proposed hydrogen port in Teesside, UK, references in the 10-point plan is an encouraging energy move in the right direction.
The full report can be accessed here.