East Midlands Hydrogen Innovation Zone

Our Proposal

We propose establishing the East Midlands Hydrogen Innovation Zone to demonstrate how inland areas can make the most efficient use of hydrogen.

This will be the UK’s biggest ever hydrogen research and development programme built on state-of-the-art technology incorporating R&D and deployment, working across the cities of Nottingham, Derby and Leicester and their surrounding areas. It will be a ‘live laboratory’ for inland hydrogen production, distribution, conversion, storage and usage.

It will harness the region’s academic base to build the UK’s first integrated hydrogen capability. It will join up with wider strategic investment in the East Midlands infrastructure. By working with multiple partners, it will create a template for national policy going forward.

The East Midlands Hydrogen Innovation Zone will

  • Build a market-led hydrogen economy integrated across production, supply chains, storage and distribution capability; establishing market demand and customer base; piloting and testing regulation; assessing lifecycle impacts and a sustainable business model for investors, businesses and government.·

  • Promote innovation, testing new hydrogen technology in real time by harnessing the region’s R&D base. It will work with public and private investors to establish industrial-scale demonstrators. It will utilise the region’s Energy Research Accelerator, founded on the facilities and expertise of eight regional universities and BGS.·

  • Develop large scale demonstrator projects in which industry working with academics can not only allow technical challenges to be addressed but important socio-economical adoption and lifecycle questions to be explored - utilising the region’s significant central position and substantive transport infrastructure.·

  • Trial clean hydrogen in major sectors including industry and manufacturing; heavy duty transport, including HGVs, construction equipment, trains, aviation (initially ground transport), and liquid synthetic and e-fuel production.·

  • Establish a new generation of skilled hydrogen technicians and specialists across all levels within the region’s educational base, including the University of Nottingham’s existing two specialist energy PhD training centres with their strong focus on hydrogen.

Our Three Key Hydrogen-Related Demonstrators

1) HGV 44-tonne Fuel Cell Trucks

  • Midlands-wide detailed feasibility study underway - March 2022.
  • Integrates truck technology, overall demand on key routes and location of HRS network.

2) Rail Freight

  • Sustainable fuels focus for light (passenger and logistics) and heavy freight.
  • Proposal being developed with industry.

3) Airport and Aviation

  • Proposals being submitted for internal and external airport infrastructure including aviation.
  • EMA focus including airport and distribution companies.

Emerging Opportunities

1) Hydrogen Corridor

  • Immingham - Midlands -  South Coast.

2) Low/Zero Carbon Hydrogen Generation

  • Regional self-sufficiency.
  • Electrolysers at old power station infrastructures.
  • Methane cracking.
  • Supercritical water gasification of biogenic material e.g. sewage sludge; MSW.

3) MOVING - Importing and Distribution

  • Hydrogen transportation and storage.
  • Near-term high pressure systems.
  • Longer-term low pressure systems with safety and siting benefits.

4) Other Industry Opportunities

  • Construction equipment and heavy plant.
  • Temporary and mobile storage systems.

East Midlands Hydrogen Innovation Zone

email: EMHIZ@nottingham.ac.uk