Standardisation across hydrogen refuelling in the UK is set to be explored in depth by a new think tank of experts in the sector.
The Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure Working Group has been set up by the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) to provide recommendations for future provision based on existing arrangements and international developments.
In parallel with this, the group will develop a position on supply chain gaps and opportunities across hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, building on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s published Sector Development Plan.
Chairman Jake Martin, Hydrogen Business Development Manager at the UK HFCA executive member organisation, Ingersoll Rand, said: “Our work here will include recommendations on how specific gaps can be filled to ensure timely development of infrastructure. Skills and training needs will form part of this.
“In addition, group members will share knowledge and experience of the practical implementation of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for mutual benefit. If particular sets of common challenges are identified, proposals on how these can be overcome will be included in the group’s output.”
Celia Greaves, CEO of the UK HFCA, said the work aimed to contribute significantly to the UK target of net zero on carbon emissions by 2050 and wider policy objectives to deliver clean growth and enhance energy resilience.
She added: “Aside from the actual vehicle technology, the creation of a fuelling station network is essential to the market development of these new vehicles.
“At the moment there is a limited number of hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) in the UK. These offer refuelling times similar to conventional petrol or diesel cars and we need to expand these networks so that, as we introduce more hydrogen vehicles to market, there is appropriate infrastructure for hydrogen fuel supply, distribution and sale. The UK is lagging behind other nations in its roll-out of hydrogen for transport and we need to accelerate progress.”
The working group is set to examine all areas of refuelling from emergency-fill mini-dispensers to a fully connected static station, as well as the options available for hydrogen cars, buses, scooters, fork-lift trucks and even airplanes.
Ms Greaves added: “UK HFCA working groups are intended to be the custodians of our policy thinking across the areas that they cover.
“They are a vital component of the work we do as the UK’s leading association and help us bring together the best minds in each area to create strategies for success.”