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GW4 region leads national conference to power the UK’s path to a Hydrogen economy

GW4 region leads national conference to power the UK’s path to a Hydrogen economy

South Wales and Western England are leading a new national conference to speed the UK’s transition to using Hydrogen to help reach sustainable Net Zero.

The conference ‘Hydrogen Gateway’ is being held at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport on 9th June 2023 and aims to bring together academia, industry, businesses, Governments and the public sector from across the UK to understand how they can work together to overcome current barriers.

This announcement comes during the UK’s first official Hydrogen Week (13th – 19th February) aiming to raise awareness of hydrogen as an essential component in reaching Net Zero. It demonstrates the momentum around hydrogen and the opportunities hydrogen presents including reducing emissions, driving economic growth and creating new, high-value green jobs.

Hydrogen has many potential uses as a low carbon energy source which could power heavy goods vehicles, aeroplanes, boats and decarbonise heavy industry.

Alongside GW4 academics, South Wales and Western England is home to a range of businesses and local authorities who are pioneering the use of Hydrogen as a way of decarbonising parts of the economy which currently rely heavily on fossil fuels.  With the largest aerospace cluster and one of the most polluted counties, the area stands well placed to lead the development of Net Zero technology.

Hydrogen Gateway is being led by the Western Gateway (a Pan-Regional Partnership for South Wales and Western England) in partnership with the GW4 Alliance and the industry alliances of Hydrogen South West and the South Wales Industrial Cluster.

Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, GW4 Alliance Director, said: “GW4 brings together four of the most research-intensive universities in the UK: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. Our academics are at the forefront of new and innovative research exploring whole system approaches to accelerate the transition to sustainable Net Zero.

“The GW4 Alliance has the ability to deliver research capabilities to support a Hydrogen Ecosystem including multi-million-pound investments in green hydrogen capacity and academic expertise spanning the whole systems approach from hydrogen production, storage and distribution to energy system integration, policy and economics, public behaviour and acceptance.

“This event is a great opportunity to showcase the best of what our partnerships can achieve.”

This conference aims to be the next step – driving forward collaboration and providing a platform for success to speed up transition to this clean fuel. The conference will include:

  • a programme of high-profile speakers
  • exhibitions demonstrating technological breakthroughs
  • workshops to improve understanding of hydrogen as an energy source
  • discussions between businesses and the public sector to understand opportunities for development and how to overcome current barriers

Katherine Bennett CBE, Chair of the Western Gateway Partnership, said: “In the Western Gateway, we are leading the development of Hydrogen across many of its potential uses through our cross-border Hydrogen Ecosystem.  This conference will put Hydrogen in the national spotlight, bringing together decision makers from across the UK with those working on the frontline to bring us closer to reaching our collective Net Zero targets.

“We’re bringing together business, research and local leaders to add £34bn to the economy by 2030 and reach Net Zero.  I look forward to welcoming experts from around the union to our area to unlock this potential game-changing low carbon fuel for the UK and the world.”

Last year, the UK Government confirmed that electrolytic Hydrogen is a key part of its plans to reach Net Zero, with aims to increase production to 10GW by 2030 and the announcement of a new national Hydrogen Champion, Jane Toogood.

Tickets can be booked online.  A programme of speakers, exhibitors and workshops will be announced in the next couple of months.

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter