UK hydrogen project could supply energy for maritime sector

Energy consultancy Ricardo is teaming up with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to support a hydrogen production facility on the Isle of Wight that could be used to supply the maritime sector.

In a statement issued on 9 June, Ricardo said that project, which is being developed as part of feasibility funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund, will ‘look at using existing solar capacity to produce hydrogen as an alternative to high-carbon fossil fuels’.

Ricardo will assess the scale of hydrogen production and use, as well as the commercial model for the facility while EMEC Hydrogen (EMEC’s green hydrogen R&D arm) will ‘assess the safety and regulatory aspects of the project, focusing on the use of hydrogen in the maritime sector’.

Ricardo added: ‘Potential users of the hydrogen produced could include the ferry and bus companies, the rail network, commercial vehicles, or marine propulsion. Alternatively, hydrogen generated from surplus solar energy could be used as a means of energy storage.’

Colin McNaught, Ricardo transport energy infrastructure manager, commented: ‘Hydrogen has the potential both to displace the use of fossil fuels with cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative, as well as offering a means of storing and buffering energy from renewable resources such as wind and solar.’

Richard Ainsworth, EMEC Hydrogen manager, added: ‘It’s great to see the learning from our green hydrogen demonstrator projects in Orkney benefitting islanded communities at the other end of the UK. Our hydrogen projects focus on the generation of hydrogen from renewable sources and the decarbonisation of lifeline island services such as ferries.’

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes