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| 1 minute read

Could hydrogen be the fuel for ‘levelling up’?

With UK Hydrogen Week getting started on Monday, M&C Reacts will have a particular focus on hydrogen innovation over the next couple of weeks. 

One of the materials promoted as part of the week of events has been the Hydrogen Energy Association’s UK Hydrogen Project Map, which showcases hydrogen initiatives across the country. 

A striking feature of the map is the visible presence of key clusters of activity across the UK. Teesside, Humberside, Aberdeen, South Wales, and the North West in particular are easily identifiable as hydrogen hot-spots. 

I’m not sure if we ever really reached a consensus about what “levelling up” does - or should - mean, or how best to achieve it. But I think the evidence from this map would suggest that British hydrogen innovation ticks at least some of the boxes: opportunities spread throughout the country, growing centres of excellence, new technologies taking root in traditional industrial heartlands.   

A recent report from the Institute for Public Policy Research considers similar ideas, focussing on case studies in the North of England. The report stresses the importance of skills investment, as well as support from central and local government, to accelerate the “the North’s nascent hydrogen economy”. And don’t forget the importance of businesses capturing their IP generated along the way!

Each of the individual projects on the map could no doubt give its own insight into the UK hydrogen landscape. Take a step back, and the overall story is of communities whose economic and cultural identities were built on traditional carbon-intensive industry being the pioneers of the new green industrial revolution. I think that is a real cause for optimism! 

This map is here to showcase to Investors, Governments & the Hydrogen Industry the pioneering projects across the value chain that our members and the wider Industry are implementing.


chemistry, climate change, energy & environment, north west england, yes, sustainability