A new strategy aims to develop hydrogen as a source of clean energy, support decarbonisation and attract investment to the region.
Hydrogen is a growing sector and has the potential to improve air quality, support national energy security, and create green growth.
Local company Ricardo has developed the strategy on behalf of Hydrogen Sussex. It shows that with the right focus, collaboration and action, the region has real potential to stand out within the UK hydrogen landscape and gain economic and environmental benefits.
The Greater Brighton Economic Board has agreed that the strategy should form the basis of future work on hydrogen in the region.
Building a hydrogen economy
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, chair of the Greater Brighton Economic Board, said: “There is huge potential across our region for hydrogen to become a mainstream source of clean energy. This will be of vital importance to help us kick the habit of fossil fuels.
"We now need to use the firm evidence to clarify our USP and draw up a route to build a hydrogen economy, building on work by Hydrogen Sussex.
"Given the current economic outlook, initiatives that strengthen the regional economy and protect the environment have never been more important.
“This has been a great collaboration. Hydrogen Sussex, local councils, businesses, universities, and organisations across the wider Sussex region are working together to create green jobs, invest in our region and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
“Going forward, it’s essential that we continue to increase investment and skills in our area. That will happen in two ways: through increased coordination, enabling smoother progress for hydrogen projects; and linking our excellent universities and colleges with local industry.”
Acting on the strategy
The report identified 42 actions to accelerate economic growth in the region through developing hydrogen. It describes how organisations from the public and private sector can work together, including universities, utilities companies and industry.
A route map sets out milestones to be achieved by 2030 including policy and regulation, skills, infrastructure, future supply and demand growth.
Rachel White, Ricardo’s Global President for Clean Energy and Environmental Solutions said: “Over the coming years, low-carbon hydrogen will play a key role in reaching global and national decarbonisation targets.
"This is particularly true in hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as high-heat industry, heavy transport, aviation, and shipping.
“Hydrogen adoption can simultaneously improve air quality, support national energy security, and create a green growth opportunity. With the 500 billion US dollar global hydrogen investment that’s expected by 2030, its clear there are significant possibilities in this growing sector.
"The UK Government recognises this opportunity, and at Ricardo we are proud to support our neighbours at Greater Brighton and play our part in putting Sussex at the forefront of this green energy revolution.”
Abigail Dombey, chair of Hydrogen Sussex said: “This strategy builds on the solid strengths in engineering and innovation that we already have across the Sussex region, particularly in the maritime sector and at our universities. Hydrogen Sussex supports and promotes the low carbon hydrogen economy locally, supporting green hydrogen projects which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.”
Ricardo plc, based in Shoreham-by-Sea, is a global strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company. Its global team of consultants, environmental specialists, engineers, and scientists work to solve the most complex and dynamic challenges to help achieve a safe and sustainable world.
Find out more about Hydrogen Sussex
Read the Greater Brighton Hydrogen Strategy (agenda item 21)
Learn more about hydrogen on the National Grid website