Arcola Energy, Ryse Hydrogen and Wrightbus are among bus industry co-signatories of a letter sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak by campaign group Hydrogen Strategy Now. It calls for a national hydrogen strategy to be established as part of the UK’s recovery from coronavirus COVID-19.
The letter says that a clear forward plan will “unlock significant private investment in hydrogen technologies and manufacturing across the country” that will drive growth and create jobs.
Bus industry co-signatories call for hydrogen strategy
Arcola Energy CEO Dr Ben Todd, Ryse Hydrogen Executive Chairman Jo Bamford and Wrightbus CEO Buta Atwal are among 41 co-signatories.
Collectively, they stand ready to invest £1.5bn in hydrogen technologies. They say that the UK has the potential to become a global leader in the low-carbon hydrogen sector, but the letter cautions that the country must move quickly if it is to realise that opportunity.
Arcola is already working with Alexander Dennis and Optare to deliver hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses. Mr Bamford, who also owns Wrightbus, has presented fully costed plans to see 3,000 hydrogen buses in service in the UK by 2024. If adopted, they would bring the cost of a fuel cell bus to the same level as a comparable diesel.
In May, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hydrogen wrote to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps asking him to allocate £50m to the delivery of an All Hydrogen Bus Town. Mr Atwal and Mr Bamford were co-signatories of that letter.
UK ‘must not miss the boat’ on hydrogen, says Baroness Brown
Baroness Brown, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, has endorsed Hydrogen Strategy Now’s call. She notes that the UK “missed the boat” on batteries and wind technology and says that it cannot afford to do the same with hydrogen.
“There are too many small, piecemeal funds and projects. We need some serious private and public funding, and a coordinated effort between government and industry, to kickstart a green job-creating hydrogen economy across the country.”
The Committee on Climate Change has previously made it clear that the UK will not satisfy its Net Zero ambition without significant investment in the hydrogen economy.