CAERPHILLY County Borough Council is collaborating with a number of expert partners to explore opportunities for the generation and use of green hydrogen across its activities in support of delivering its commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030.
Hydrogen is generated by splitting water (H2O) into its constituent parts, hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis – passing an electrical current through the water. The term green hydrogen is used when the electricity used in the electrolysis is generated from renewable sources such as wind or solar.
Projects being explored by the Council will consider the use of ethical water sources by using water from the authority’s reed bed facility rather than using “tap water” which is better used as “drinking water”.
The Council has developed strong partnerships and by working together have successfully secured external funding to carry out feasibility studies on two projects; funding from UK Government’s ‘Innovate UK’ ‘Pioneer Places’ programme of £72,496 is being used to examine the non-technical barriers to place based multi vector energy solutions and is being led by CCBC. A further £43,768 has been secured through Welsh Government’s HyBRID fund to investigate the technical barriers to the project; this is being led by University of South Wales. Further funding is being sought to carry out additional feasibility.
Welsh Government’s Energy Service & Local Partnerships are supporting the Council in relation to advice and to the feasibility solar energy needed. Further partners that have committed to support elements of the project include Cardiff University through the Infuse Programme that assists Councils with decarbonisation, Prosona, Baxter360 Consulting & Energy Systems Catapult.
The Council will also explore how green hydrogen can be used in transport and heating, two areas which currently rely on fossil fuels. Wales & West Utilities are complementing this element by exploring the use of hydrogen and waste heat from hydrogen transport hubs.
Cllr Jamie Pritchard, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Climate Change, said “Caerphilly was the second local authority in Wales to declare a climate emergency and we have a number of projects which aim to deliver our net zero carbon commitment, including investigating the use of green hydrogen.
“Hydrogen has the potential to provide fuel for some of our fleet vehicles, power heating systems or be blended into the gas network. As well as decarbonisation, there are also potential education and employment benefits to the local economy and improving air quality for residents”.
“University of South Wales is working with Caerphilly Council and partners to help accelerate the transition to net zero,” said lecturer Dr Stephen Carr.
“Through the Innovate UK Pioneer Places programme we are investigating how to overcome non-technical barriers to achieving net zero through developing a Decision Support Toolkit which will help facilitate choices between different energy vectors for decarbonisation, with USW providing expertise on hydrogen energy and the design of the toolkit.
“USW is leading the SBRI HyBRID Caerogen project, with CCBC and other partners developing a technoeconomic model to assess the feasibility of a green electrolytic hydrogen in the Caerphilly borough.”