An alliance of industry leaders is backing the north west of England to become the UK’s primary hydrogen economy.

The new North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA) aims to highlight how north west England could make hydrogen energy a reality in the UK, helping to bring down the region’s CO2 emissions and support clean growth.

NWHA unites some of the UK’s most influential organisations in an aim to position the region as the UK leader for hydrogen energy.

“The North West of England is poised to be the primary region for the development of a decarbonised, hydrogen-based energy market for the UK,” said Tony Smith, Commercial Strategy Manager at Peel Environmental. 

“It already features all the necessary components to develop a hydrogen economy – thriving industry, an existing skilled workforce, city regions that collaborate, as well as natural and industrial assets.”

The founding members of the NWHA are Atkins, BOC, Cadent, Costain, Peel Environmental, Shell and the University of Chester.

“To meet climate change targets and reduce CO2 emissions we need to find ways of decarbonising our energy systems,” said Professor Joseph Howe, Chair of the NWHA and Executive Director of the Thornton Energy Institute.

“Hydrogen can be used as a clean energy source to heat our homes and businesses and is changing the face of transport with fuel cell cars, commercial vehicles and trains.”

The North West is poised to deliver two ‘first of their kind’ hydrogen energy projects. The first public network trials of hydrogen and blended gas are being planned for the North of England through Alliance partner Cadent’s HyDeploy project.

“We’re seeing major leaps forward in the technology all over the world, but some of the leading research and development is take place right here in the North West. Take Cadent’s HyNet and hyDeploy projects – flagship scheme to distribute hydrogen across the Manchester and Liverpool regions. They’ll bring with them a £17 billion economic boost, 5,000 jobs and over 1 million tonnes of CO2 savings every year. That’s just one project,” Howe continued.