Mar 23 2023
In a Westminster Hall Debate held yesterday (14 June), Darren Henry, Co-Chair of the Midlands Engine APPG and MP for Broxtowe, highlighted the exceptional potential of the Midlands Engine Hydrogen Technologies Strategy for our region.
The strategy sets out how we can leverage partner capabilities, overcome challenges and capitalise on potentially transformational opportunities as we seek to shift to a hydrogen economy which will be of significant benefit to the Midlands.
Speaking in the debate, Darren Henry MP said: “Because I am both the Member of Parliament from the Midlands and the Co-Chair for the Midlands Engine parliamentary group, it is in the Midlands I would like to focus my remarks today. In February this year the Midlands Engine set out their Hydrogen Technologies strategy. The strategy draws on the exceptional manufacturing capabilities in the Midlands, and it holds immense potential to expand renewable energy production within the region. Expanding the hydrogen economy of the Midlands will act as acatalyst to drive economic growth and new job markets in the region.
“The Midlands is a region that has always led on manufacturing and that has the infrastructure in place to be a world leader in hydrogen production and it is essential that this potential is not wasted. The potential benefits on offer include the opportunity to create 8,500 jobs through production supply and storage of hydrogen, over 60,000 jobs through the decarbonisation of HGVs and refuelling infrastructure, and almost 2000 jobs supporting the use of hydrogen as an alternative aviation fuel. All with the potential to contribute £10 billion GVA to the Midlands economy. The Midlands plan for hydrogen goes as far as to set out industries in which there is potential to create more job and apprenticeship opportunities such as in domestic and commercial heating, low carbon energy generation, public transport, freight, logistics and construction equipment.
“There are already some fantastic businesses in the Midlands working to put the UK on the map for hydrogen production. One such business is GeoPura in the East Midlands, GeoPura is a business I have been lucky enough to visit in my capacity as Co-Chair of the Midlands Engine APPG. GeoPura uses renewable energy normally solar PV or wind to create hydrogen and in turn hydrogen-based zero-emission fuels. This is then transported to areas where a local generator converts it into electrical power. From start to finish the process is completely clean and carbon-free, the only by-product is water. GeoPura energy is currently being used in transport, construction, film and TV, as well as outdoor events such as festivals. Businesses such as this within the Midlands have the potential to ensure the UK is leading in hydrogen technology and production.
“I will conclude today by saying that the government has made it clear that in order to achieve net-zero by 2050 we have to ensure we are leading in the low carbon hydrogen technologies front. Industrial heartlands such as the Midlands are ready to be at the forefront of the hydrogen economy and ensure that the UK continues to take a global lead on green industrial revolution that we hope for.”
Darren’s remarks were supported by the Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Greg Hands MP, who stated: “My Hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Darren Henry), who is Co-Chair of the Midlands Engine APPG, is absolutely right to say that we need to lead on low-carbon hydrogen technology. The technology side of this issue is incredibly important.”
It is fantastic that the Midlands’ unique hydrogen economy potential continues to be recognised in Parliament as partners across our region work together to implement the actions set out in the Hydrogen Technologies Strategy.
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