Dulas has been awarded funding by the Welsh Government’s Smart Living HyBRID SBRI to undertake a project which will look at the feasibility of hydrogen production in Wales using renewable energy sources. The project, called HyFEAS, will include examining the available technologies and assessing the technical and commercial feasibility of hydrogen production in Wales. We are working with key clients to investigate the potential on existing sites over the next 4 months and hope to use the results to progress to a full system design and planning stage.

Hydrogen in the renewable energy mix

Hydrogen will be a major component of the renewable energy mix in the future and demand is anticipated to increase dramatically. Although hydrogen is already widely used on an industrial scale, it is mostly hydrogen that is generated using fossil fuels which has a huge carbon footprint. Green hydrogen is hydrogen that is generated using renewable electricity – it has significantly lower carbon emissions. However, further research is needed to scale up technologies and bring down costs to allow hydrogen to become widely used and this is what Dulas will explore in their HyFEAS project.

Andy Skipton Carter, Commercial Lead for Consulting, comments:

“Research into green hydrogen production and defining affordable, sustainable systems that will work with renewable energy locally and at scale, is ground-breaking stuff and we are excited to have started on this project. We’ll be building on our existing skills and learning new ones so that we can continue to offer our clients pioneering, effective renewable solutions that will help combat climate change and support local energy security.”

What hydrogen could be used for

Hydrogen is very versatile and can be compressed, stored and transported for later use. A significant number of renewable energy power plants are already operational in Wales and many more are planned. All of these are able to produce very competitively priced electricity, which immediately makes the prospect of producing hydrogen more affordable. Surplus energy produced from renewable sources could be stored as hydrogen and used at a later date.

If locally produced hydrogen were available, hauliers, train operators and construction companies could easily deploy hydrogen powered trucks, trains and equipment in Wales. The Welsh Government also hopes that by developing the hydrogen energy sector, Wales will attract the new zero-emission automotive industries which would lead to jobs and further investment. Realising the potential of hydrogen could be an exciting and transformative opportunity for Wales.

HyBRID (Hydrogen Business Research & Innovation for Decarbonisation) is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funded by Welsh Government Smart Living. The aim of the HyBRID competition is to develop innovative and research solutions which support one or more of the ten objectives of the Welsh Government Wales Hydrogen Pathway report incorporated into the second carbon reduction plan Net Zero Wales CB2 – 2021-2025. These aim to accelerate the development of technologies and processes which enable the deployment of hydrogen as a keystone energy vector, which will be critical for meeting net zero emissions by 2050.

Smart Living is a Welsh Government initiative set up in 2015 to facilitate development of innovative solutions for place-based decarbonisation issues.