Major report on potential of hydrogen for Wales launched at Eco-car manufacturer in Llandrindod Wells

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Mid and West AM Simon Thomas will launch a major report that analyses the potential of hydrogen in the decarbonisation of transport in Wales. 

The report will be launched later this morning at eco-car manufacturer Riversimple in Llandrindod Wells.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon Thomas said,

“The report highlights how Wales could take a leading strategic role in the emerging hydrogen economy, but how leadership in Wales is lacking.

“If I was the Cabinet Secretary in a Plaid Cymru Welsh Government I would be quick off the mark by taking up the recommendation about reaching out to the Hydrogen Council. We could co-organise a major event in Wales which communicates the Welsh nation’s ambition on the hydrogen economy to a global audience. This event could also celebrate the life of William Grove of Swansea, who invented the hydrogen fuel cell in 1842.

“Wales can once again be a place of innovators by establishing a dedicated team from our universities and councils to secure the funding for the local production and supply of hydrogen.

“The Welsh Government could use the opportunities provided by the new rail franchise and proposed Metros for the introduction of hydrogen trains and buses in Wales to ensure the air we breathe is non-polluting and fresh.”

Report author Guto Owen added,

“There has been a surge of interest in hydrogen to decarbonise not only transport but also the electricity, heat and agricultural sectors; and to improve air quality. Combining zero emissions and the ability to store energy at scale and seasonally, hydrogen strategies and projects are being advanced by Governments, utilities and technology developers across the world. Wales, with its abundant natural resources, has an opportunity to join the early movers by fast-tracking hydrogen for environmental, health and economic benefits.”

The analysis, completed by energy consultancy Ynni Glan, focuses on the current use of hydrogen in Wales’ transport sector as well as the use of hydrogen in the transport sector within the UK and globally.

Adam Fletcher, Head of British Heart Foundation Cymru said,

“BHF Cymru are pleased to see that there are developments in Wales which may lead to more fuel-efficient and low emission vehicles and public transport, which will help to tackle our dangerously polluted air.

“It was BHF-funded research which first proved the link between air pollution and heart and circulatory diseases in 2013. The BHF would like to see all Governments in the UK committed to reducing Nitrogen Oxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM) and improving air quality.

“Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) and other forms of decarbonised methods of transport, including properly integrated active travel, are likely to help ensure these harmful pollutants are reduced, however there is much to be done in terms of charging points and other infrastructure required before we will see wide-spread use of certain vehicles. The conversation around decarbonising transport in Wales at the start of Clean Air Week is very welcome as the focus on the poor air our communities are breathing is finally being recognised.”

The report outlines sources of funding, a cost benefit analysis of using hydrogen in the transport sector, the role of the Welsh government, and the feasibility of using hydrogen to decarbonise buses, trains and freight.

The document concludes with recommendations for the Welsh Government and encourages the government to provide leadership in joining other countries and regions who are making progress in decarbonisation.

The idea of implementing hydrogen transport schemes in Wales is supported by evidence contained in the report.

The research was paid out of the National Assembly’s Policy, Research and Communication Fund for policy development.

Read the report here.

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