East Midlands Hydrogen Innovation Zone

Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Hydrogen is critical to the UK reaching its net zero target by 2050. There are key challenges to be resolved around its suitability for different sectors, the projected usage, the production capacity required, distribution, different storage options, and the increased electrical supply required for conversion as we move from blue to green hydrogen and initial targets for 2030 and beyond.

The University of Nottingham Energy Institute and Propulsion Futures Beacon have been working to develop a plan for an East Midlands Hydrogen Innovation Zone. This has included discussions with industrial, regional and national stakeholders to connect with regional initiatives around green growth plans and freeport developments.

Next steps: 

  • Establish a cross-partner steering group/advisory board to finalise a detailed business plan, a programme timetable and prospectus for public and private funding. This will dovetail with Midlands Engine’s Green Growth Strategy ahead of COP26 summit in Glasgow in November. 
  • Build the region’s political, industry, investor and R&D support for the proposals to develop in detail. This includes securing backing from key sites for the EMHIZ including the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site in Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands Intermodal Park (EMIP) in south Derbyshire.
  • Engaging the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, ahead of the UK Hydrogen Strategy’s publication and major consultations to put commercial, regulatory and policy frameworks in place. 
  • Scoping how the EMHIZ can utilise the opportunities from East Midlands Airport and Gateway Industrial Cluster (EMAGIC) being granted Freeport status in the Budget on 3rd March. The airport is critical for building the region’s hydrogen capability as the UK’s biggest dedicated international freight hub, alongside the neighbouring 700-acre SEGRO Logistics Park. 
  • Integrate plans with East Midlands Development Corporation’s plans to build a “National Centre for Zero Emissions” for dedicated energy research and development hub on the Ratcliffe-on-Soar site, and its proposed Industrial Zero Emissions Fund.
Read the East Midlands Innovation Zone Proposal Paper. 
For further information please contact Professor David Grant or Dr Simon Gerrard.

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