Could the North West Become a World-leading Hydrogen Economy?
The North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA) has published its manifesto for delivering a world-leading hydrogen economy in the North West of England.

It sets out several recommendations that the NWHA believes are essential for the UK to capitalise on the hydrogen opportunity.

This opportunity is estimated to create 100,000 jobs and £13 billion (€15.2 billion) of GVA in the UK by 2050.

Hydrogen projects and infrastructure need to be amplified to hit current production targets 

NWHA is calling for the UK Government to accelerate its hydrogen ambitions, this includes setting a new national target of 20 GW of hydrogen by 2035, with the North West able to deliver up to 6 GW with the right support from the government.

In addition, it wants to see the acceleration of projects in the carbon capture and usage (CCUS) clusters to enable the UK to hit its production targets, as well as the acceleration of hydrogen transport and storage business models and provide interim measures to unlock early infrastructure.

Also, the NWHA is calling for the delivery of a national supply chain and skills strategy, which reflects the needs and strengths of different regions.

A review of planning processes for hydrogen to provide direction and a framework for new hydrogen infrastructure is also being called for, as well as a national public engagement programme around net zero to help support consumers and amplify public awareness and acceptability.

The North West needs to move further and faster to be industry ready 

According to NWHA, the North West has the potential to be the first to develop a decarbonised, hydrogen-inclusive energy market. It could be one of the first two decarbonised energy clusters given government backing.

It said the region is home to over 4 GW of production capacity currently being developed, with projects including HyNet, Trafford Green Hydrogen, and First Hydrogen production plans in Liverpool and Manchester.

HyNet is a project that will capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from heavy industry and produce low-carbon hydrogen for heating, power, and transport. Also focusing on heating and transport, Trafford Green Hydrogen is a project that will use renewable energy to produce green hydrogen fuel.

Helen Boyle, Head of Regional Development (North West and Midlands) at Cadent on behalf of the NWHA explained: “This manifesto sets out what’s required to deliver a world-leading hydrogen economy. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity but the UK must move further and faster. Demand for hydrogen in the North West is extremely strong, with industry standing ready to invest in a greener future.”

Our manifesto sets out how working together we can unlock this low carbon energy opportunity and secure and create jobs for the region and beyond.

The North West region has great hydrogen potential but only if it moves quickly and if it has investment support.