The Department for Transport (DfT) has today [2 August 2023] awarded £8m to the two winning projects in the second funding round for the Tees Valley hydrogen transport hub.
The competition asked for bids from projects that offer solutions to help scale up hydrogen technology, such as refuelling on a large scale.
One of the winning projects, led by ULEMCo, will seek to develop hydrogen-powered ground-based vehicles to support operations at Teesside international airport, which aims to be net zero by 2030.
The second, led by Element 2, aims to build four new public hydrogen refuelling stations to support increased uptake of it as a fuel source for a range of vehicles, including HGVs.
Winning projects will be supported by £300,000 to help upskill the local workforce and foster a specialised skills base in the Tees Valley.
Mark Harper, transport secretary, said: “Hydrogen technology has great potential to decarbonise transport and help grow the economy.
“Today’s winners illustrate the expertise the Tees Valley has as a pioneer in developing hydrogen tech. This investment will provide a further boost to the economy, creating skilled jobs and apprenticeships across the North East.”
One of the major benefit of using hydrogen fuel cells is that they create no harmful exhaust emissions.
Research suggests the hydrogen sector could support more than 12,000 jobs nationally and unlock more than £9bn for the UK in private investment.
Ben Houchen, mayor of Tees Valley, said: “We were one of the first areas to trial hydrogen fuels and this is continuing to pay off as we’ve been successful in securing this permanent refuelling station.
“Our airport and, indeed, our whole region continues to be at the forefront of the UK’s net zero ambitions and this hydrogen station is another step forward to supporting the cleaner, healthier and safer industries of tomorrow.
“It backs up everything we’re doing in our low-carbon journey, including supporting the production and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel…[but] the aim to have Teesside airport operationally net zero by 2030 is only the beginning.
“We’re still pioneering offshore, carbon capture and renewable technologies over at Teesworks, to truly cement Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool as the place to do business in innovative and clean technologies.”
The first competition saw more than £2.6m awarded to various winners to deploy 21 hydrogen-powered vehicles.