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EDINBURGH | 20/04/23

UK-HyRES held its latest hydrogen community engagement meeting, “Future Perspective”, at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on Thursday 20 April 2023.

Aims and Objectives

  • A look forward to the Hub and to share details
  • To hear leading expert perspectives on the future of hydrogen and alternative liquid fuel research
  • To emphasis the Hub structures strategic alignment to the future direction of research (technical and cross-cutting)
  • To network and build collaborations and partnerships

Over 60 delegates convened to hear a range of national and international speakers.

Gus MacIntosh (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero) gave an opening address and shared the department’s future strategy and reminded us of the importance of cross-sector collaboration, commenting “You can’t work in a silo when you’re trying to change the global energy system”.

Prof Martin Dornheim (Leverhulme International Professor for Hydrogen Storage Materials and Systems, University of Nottingham) delivered the first talk, which focused on his research in solid state metal hydride storage systems.

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Prof. Dornheim presents in Edinburgh 2023.

Invited international speaker Dr. Peter Holtappels (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) discussed electrochemical processes for Power2X and E-fuels, highlighting the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and the StoRIES project, which aims to build a storage research infrastructure ecosystem.

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Prof. Holtappels presents in Edinburgh 2023.

Professor Jennifer Wen (Professor in Energy Resilience, University of Surrey) focused on her perspective of the safety challenges and her research into ignition and flames, reaffirming “It is so important to address safety across the entire H2 value chain”.

Prof. Wen presents in Edinburgh 2023.

Jon Harman (Technology Delivery Director, Ceres Power) stressed the importance of green hydrogen production and discussed Ceres’ Solid Oxide technology and the development of the SteelCell. Reminding us that this was born from a university spin-out and the importance of research.

Jon Harman presents in Edinburgh 2023.

Prof Anthony Kucernak (Professor of Physical Chemistry, Imperial College London) shared a fantastic pre-recorded talk as he was currently away. He reminded us to not only look at the small scale and also to think creatively. Prof. Kucernak highlighted his research that showed that you can reduce the cost of hydrogen by valorising waste streams and producing valuable secondary products.

Prof Andresen presents in Edinburgh 2023.

Our final talk was delivered by Prof. John Andresen (Heriot-Watt University) who focused on the industrial decarbonisation challenge, emphasising the point that the industrial sector is responsible for 9% UK GDP, 2.5 million direct jobs, 16% UK emissions and will need 2 million more green jobs by 2030.

Nigel Holmes (Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Association) chaired a lively afternoon panel discussion which was a look at the future hydrogen economy. Panellists included Prof John Irvine (University of St Andrews), Prof Joan Cordiner (University of Sheffield), Alan Mortimer (Development Director, Eneus Energy Ltd) and Dr Peter Forman (Northumbria University). Prof Irvine reminded us all that “Tomorrow’s technology is today’s research” and that we should challenge ourselves to go further than Net Zero and aim for a carbon negative system. Prof Mays rounded the day off with his vision for the proposed hub and his hope, that together, we can overcome challenges, deliver net zero and build a future hydrogen economy.

Panel discussion Edinburgh 2023.

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