A new project working group, led by UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), is examining the relationship between hydrogen production, water availability, emerging technologies, and the role water utilities can play in the hydrogen value chain across the UK and Ireland.

Dan Green, of Wessex Water and UKWIR’s programme lead for its carbon ‘big question’ commented:

“UK water companies are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions and are keen to understand the degree to which we can be both producers and consumers of hydrogen from renewable sources. We are also aware that conventional hydrogen production requires a lot of clean water – so we want to quantify the potential impacts of larger scale hydrogen production on water resources.”

Professor John Andresen at Heriot-Watt University said:

“Availability to clean and affordable water is key for a net zero future. Our taskforce will identify hydrogen technologies that can deliver at-pace and scale for water companies and stakeholders within the value-chain. This will stimulate critical knowledge exchange that is pivotal for developing a prosperous low carbon hydrogen sector.”

Global leader in sustainable engineering and design, Stantec, is operating as the research contractor for the project, supported by consulting co-developer and bankability accelerator, Ikigai and Heriot Watt University. UKWIR is a collaborative research platform for the UK and Ireland water sector.

The UK Hydrogen Strategy sets an ambition for 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production by 2030, which will contribute to its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Whether blue or green hydrogen is used to achieve this governmental ambition, water will feature prominently.

The project will consider the feasibility of scaling hydrogen production in relation to water consumption, while exploring the impact in terms of resources.

The project team will conduct a high-level work programme which reviews the latest technologies (utilising power and/or bioenergy as feedstocks) and ultimately provides guidance around optimal business models for water company engagement. The project aims to give timely support to water companies and other stakeholders from the water and energy sectors in reaching their carbon reduction ambitions.

The final report which will consolidate the outputs of the work programme is expected to be launched in Spring 2023. Stakeholders will then be invited to a technology transfer workshop to discuss the findings.

In addition to advising UKWIR, Ikigai is currently leading on the development of the hydrogen ecosystem for both the Thames Estuary and Glasgow Airport industrial cluster.

The full story can be read here.

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