UK-EU Hydrogen Summit advances international Net Zero collaboration

Date posted: May 13, 2024
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Martin Freer, ERA Director, and a panel of speakers at UK / EU Hydrogen Summit

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) and HyDEX recently held the UK EU Hydrogen Summit at the Institute for Mechanical Engineers in London.

The sold out event was attended by a diverse range of specialists in hydrogen from government, industry and academia from across the UK and Europe. It focused on the imperative need for greater collaboration within Europe and internationally to drive the development of hydrogen as a key component of the energy transition towards a zero-carbon economy. The event brought together industry leaders, policymakers, and researchers to advance collaboration for achieving a net zero hydrogen economy. With hydrogen emerging as a crucial component of the energy transition, the summit focused on developing closer UK, EU, and international relations to drive innovation and investment in hydrogen technologies.

The summit began with an overview of the evolving role of hydrogen in the energy transition, emphasizing the importance of greater European and international collaboration. Professor Martin Freer, Director of Energy Research Accelerator, and Alan Haigh from the European Commission set the stage for discussions on advancing hydrogen technology.

Lord Callanan the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy gave the keynote speech and discussed the government’s view on hydrogen, he said: “We want to get hydrogen up and running, and establish a hydrogen economy. It’s important for the UK to collaborate internationally, we want to share best practice, we want to set up join regulatory environments that will enable the hydrogen economy to go forward.”

Key sessions during the morning included insights into hydrogen policy and project developments in the UK, Europe, and internationally. Dr. Chris Manson-Whitton of Progressive Energy Ltd, and Will Morlidge Chief Executive of D2N2 LEP shared perspectives on the work being undertaken through the East Midlands Hydrogen group and its future plans.

This was followed by a panel discussion highlighting the social and environmental dimensions of hydrogen projects, moderated by Martin Freer and featuring Sue Ferns from the Prospect Union, Lisa Trickett from Labour’s SERA group, and Mary Meek from DESNZ.

In the second panel, Faye McAnulla from ERA chaired a session, Brett Ryan from HUK, Troy Aharonian from Madano, Chris Galpin from E3G, and Malcolm Arthur from National Gas discussed policy frameworks and project developments in the UK, EU, and internationally. This session underscored the importance of cross-border collaboration in fostering hydrogen innovation.

The summit also explored the role of collaboration in achieving a zero-carbon hydrogen economy, with Alan Haigh, Stuart Broadley from Energy Industries Council, Pau Ruiz Guix from Hydrogen Europe, Geerte de Jong from HEAVENN, and Markus Knauf from the German Embassy providing insights into international partnerships and initiatives.

The event concluded with a call to action, including an interactive panel discussion moderated by Alan Haigh, encouraging audience participation and feedback. Professor Martin Freer delivered closing remarks, highlighting the importance of continued collaboration. Professor Freer said: “Today’s UK-EU Hydrogen Summit serves as a platform to exchange ideas, foster collaboration, and drive forward the transition to a hydrogen economy. The discussions and insights gained from the event will contribute to shaping future policies and projects, hopefully accelerating the adoption of hydrogen technologies and initatives.”

There will be a follow up summit in Brussels on 1st and 2nd July.

If anyone is interested in attending, please email Nick King at The Energy Research Accelerator.

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