NWHA welcomes three new members

NWHA welcomes three new members looking at role of nuclear in north-west’s hydrogen economy.

The North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA) has bolstered its ranks with three new members looking at the potential of nuclear to support the roll out of hydrogen in the north-west.

TÜV UK Ltd (TÜV NORD GROUP), Urenco and the University of Liverpool are the latest to join the NWHA, with their sights firmly set on the role of nuclear power in the production of low carbon hydrogen.

Nuclear power can be used to produce hydrogen through electrolysis, where electricity is used to split water molecules to extract hydrogen, or thermochemically using the high temperature heat from the reactor. A benefit of nuclear power is its scalability and dispatchability which could help to improve the cost-efficiency of hydrogen production, alongside other technologies.

Professor Joe Howe, chair of the NWHA and executive director, Energy Research Institute at the University of Chester, said: “With a doubling of the hydrogen production target in the UK – and calls for this target to be even more ambitious – we’re going to need a breadth of different technologies to create hydrogen and reach the scale we need. 

“Nuclear could play an important role and we’re really pleased to welcome three organisations at the forefront of this agenda to the Alliance. Leveraging a variety of low-carbon sources for hydrogen production will form another significant step in reaching net zero.”

TÜV UK Ltd by joining the Alliance, offers the region a diverse range of experience from working on key projects such as the Hamburg Port to developing advanced nuclear technologies to drive forward Nuclear New Build and SMRs.

Dr David Bradbury, associate at TÜV UK Ltd, said: “TÜV UK Ltd. has welcomed the opportunity to join the North West Hydrogen Alliance to ensure we are fully engaged with advancements in the hydrogen sector, and to establish links with like-minded, innovative partners to expand the region’s huge potential.  

“We intend to use our membership of NWHA, coupled with the Northern Nuclear Alliance (NNA) to support the ambition to produce hydrogen from nuclear heat through the development of High Temperature Gas Reactors.”

Urenco is a long term supplier to the nuclear industry and plays an essential role in the generation of reliable, low carbon electricity for consumers worldwide

Peter Bradley, senior commercial manager at Urenco Ltd, said: “We are pleased to be a part of the Alliance. Urenco firmly believes that hydrogen production is key to the net zero transition, especially for difficult to decarbonise and heavy industries and bulk transport which cannot be electrified. 

“In fact, independent research commissioned by Urenco which focused on the UK energy industry, shows that producing hydrogen through a combination of nuclear and renewables can cut total costs and reduce emissions in a net zero energy system by 2050.”

The University of Liverpool is involved in a wide range of research programmes and specialises in experimental nuclear physics. The University has delivered ground-breaking research to support nuclear advancements and is currently exploring the potential of low carbon hydrogen production from nuclear energy.

Professor Anthony Hollander, pro-vice-chancellor for research & impact at University of Liverpool, said: “University of Liverpool has a strong record in the development of hydrogen technologies and we champion the role of nuclear in hydrogen production. 

“The university explores everything from decommissioning and equipment design to disposal and the storage of nuclear waste. We’re well positioned within the region to directly apply our research expertise and capabilities to support real world applications and net zero technologies that will make a real difference.”

With a strong commitment to decarbonising industry and hitting net zero targets, the Alliance advances the case for delivery of a full-system hydrogen economy in the north-west of England. 

The north-west published a roadmap to net zero for the region earlier this year, with hydrogen playing a central role in the region’s industrial decarbonisation strategy. You can view the report here.

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