Later this year the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. As the first major economy to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, all eyes will be on how we plan to deliver on this ambitious target.
By Myles Kitcher, Non-executive Director, Powerhouse Energy
The rhetoric is promising. The Government’s 10-Point Plan for a green industrial revolution set out how they plan to build back better – and greener – from the global pandemic. The long-awaited Energy White Paper that followed put more meat on the bones of how the Government plans to tackle climate change and protect the world’s resources.
At the same time, lockdown improvements in air quality across our towns and cities have only added to the calls for a green recovery. While we all look to get the economy firing again, there’s a real desire that this isn’t at the expense of the environment.
When it comes to the solution, the common theme in both of these is the role hydrogen can play. Something barely talked about even five years ago, it’s now a mainstream part of the conversation.
The second point of the 10-point plan, highlighted by the Committee on Climate Change as a necessity and a key tenant of the Energy White Paper, hydrogen is increasingly being seen as essential by policy makers, environmentalists, academics and business leaders to achieving net zero.
With zero emissions at the point of use, hydrogen provides the ideal clean fuel to switch some of the hardest to decarbonise areas around heating and automotive fuels.
When it comes to protecting the environment, an equally pressing global problem is waste plastic. In the UK, almost 1.2 million tonnes of waste plastic goes to landfill every year with more ending up exported overseas, or worst still, in our oceans. Reducing the amount of plastic we use in society has to be the long term solution, but we’re far from being able to eliminate plastic all together. The medical sector and food industry, for example, are always likely to need some form of plastic. Next should be recycling but we still need ways to sustainably manage plastic that is at the end of its life.
Powerhouse Energy provides a cost-effective solution to this environmental dilemma, by producing a sustainable source of hydrogen from unrecyclable plastic. The hydrogen can be used as a clean fuel for use in heavy goods vehicles, buses and trains.
The technology can also help on our journey to net zero carbon emissions, saving up to 125% CO2 when compared to carbon emissions from diesel. It also produces nearly three-quarters less carbon than waste incineration. So, it’s a win win, helping to decarbonise our transport and waste management systems.
The pioneering technology also helps further up the chain. Providing a solution and value for end of life plastic encourages the sorting of plastic, which means more recycling.
This is a community-based solution requiring a small land area to build, helping to deal with local waste, providing a local, decentralised source of hydrogen and helping to improve local air quality. We see communities across the UK benefiting from this innovative and sustainable technology.
In providing a solution for plastic waste and a source of sustainable hydrogen, the Powerhouse Energy technology could be pivotal in encouraging the switch from diesel and petrol to hydrogen – helping the move towards net zero and improving the air quality in our towns and cities.
If we are to achieve a UK target of net zero by 2050, and a lot sooner in some of our regions, we need to make advances in the energy transition,starting now. The Powerhouse Energy technology is ready to be deployed with the first plant due to start construction at Peel NRE’s flagship Protos site in Cheshire shortly.
A hydrogen revolution is imminent but Powerhouse Energy is accelerating this clean energy transition today.
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