Multi-infrastructure Hydrogen Based System
It is generally accepted that the transition to renewable energy sources will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. But energy is not the only one that has this effect. The metallurgical industry, transport and housing and communal services increase greenhouse gases level in the atmosphere. According to an approach to decarbonization, that it is enough to conduct a unified state policy in the field of regulation. But the introduction of special tax regimes, direct bans and restrictions on carbon-intensive technologies and processes significantly increase costs. This way is not eligible, because it does not take into account industry specifics and does not offer technological solutions. To carry out a full-fledged decabronization of the economy, it is necessary to create complex solutions. At the same time, mutual integration of infrastructures and the possibility of their coordinated management optimize work and make it more efficient.

This can be realized with the only "carbon-free" energy carrier hydrogen. Technologies for production, storage and transportation of hydrogen have already been created. In the 19th century Jules Verne wrote in his novel "The Mysterious Island": "Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be used as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used isolated or together, will provide an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity that coal is not capable." Hydrogen has the largest energy reserve per unit mass. When it is released and interacts with oxygen, it can turn into pure water. Further, hydrogen is obtained from water by electrolysis again. Thus, the water cycle creates carbon-neutral energy.
Universal Problem
Decarbonisation in the energy industry is not enough to reduce emissions and stop climate change.
Solution
An example of the implementation of such an approach is the Hydrogen Hub in Lancashire County. It is a complex of energy, transport and utility infrastructures and industrial production using hydrogen. Hydrogen is a universal one, and it is produced on the basis of renewable energy sources (RES) or nuclear power plants. The location was chosen due to the closeness of the Heisham NPP. It is a large producer of cheap electricity. Nuclear plants produce low-carbon H2 by electrolysis of water. Now diesel trains carry hydrogen, but in the future they will also use H2.
Target Image
In the future, the hub will be a multi-infrastructure based on hydrogen fuel. The experiment will implement the mutual integration of basic infrastructures and uses a universal carbon-free energy carrier.
Experiment Framework
The community is exploring the possibility of producing cheap hydrogen from nuclear power plants. They try to decarbonize all local transport (commuter trains, buses, ferries) with hydrogen fuel, and decarbonize local industrial production (Lancashire County). In addition, they study how the infrastructures are coordinated in an efficient way. They also check the change in CO2 emission reductions in Lancashire and the change in utility and transport costs for the end user. The practice is broadcast through inter-university connections (conferences, multilateral agreements).
Tools and Technologies
The project uses:
  • electrolysis hydrogen production,
  • hydrogen gas pipelines and water heaters,
  • underground storage of hydrogen
  • fuel cell technology for the transport industry.
Scaling Plans
The community around Lancaster University will focus on fuel and transportation logistics. H2 is a vector of energy in smart local energy systems (for transportation, heating, power grids). It is a base of new business models and geological models. They need to scale up H2 storage projects. It is also planned to connect the hub with the Eden Project North project. Also they plan to make environmental, health and social projects for large enterprises.
Standards and Values
  • Availability of basic infrastructures (reliability and affordability)
  • Climate neutrality (zero effect on changes in atmospheric CO2)
  • Unrestricted access to energy (opposes energy efficiency as self-restraint)
Communities and Leaders
The center of community is Lancaster University, which includes EDF, EIFER, ATKINS. Their goal is to build a clean, zero-energy future with new solutions and services. It will reduce carbon emissions and promote prosperity and economic development.
Allies
  • Copenhagen Airport, which produces synthetic fuel for aircraft;
  • Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS. They develop solutions that cover all questions of supply systems.