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13 May 2024
Renewable Energy

Hydrogen Economy Offers ‘Exciting Opportunity’ for Wales to Create Global Supply Chain

Wales is in a prime position to build a supply chain which will create jobs and maximize its potential in the future global hydrogen economy.

The global hydrogen technology market – the equipment and capabilities that make, move and use the green energy solution – has potential to reach $1trillion annually by 2050.

A new report from the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative (HII) highlights how securing a 10% share of that market could deliver £46 billion per annum to the UK economy by 2050. This would see 410,000 jobs created across the end-to-end hydrogen value chain, with 90% of those jobs expected be outside of London and the South East.

The report – The UK Hydrogen Innovation Opportunity – is being launched across the UK capitals.

Speaking to Business News Wales ahead of the report’s launch in Cardiff, Dr Katy Milne, programme director for the HII, said building up the supply chain in Wales could pave the way for economic growth.

The report has been informed by evidence from more than 250 organisations and 12 industry associations across the UK manufacturing and energy sectors.

It says the focus for Wales is now maximising the reinvigoration of local industry which is already underway, such as at Port Talbot and the Celtic Freeport.

HII has identified four technology areas of strategic opportunity it says represent the greatest potential benefit for the UK hydrogen supply chains – the production of hydrogen and conversion into carriers, propulsion systems for transport, industrial hydrogen, and end-to-end hydrogen storage.

Katherine Bennett, chief executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a strategic research and innovation hub commercialising the UK’s most advanced manufacturing ideas and a HII partner organisation, said:

“Wales is becoming a thriving hub of green industry, with key investments in Port Talbot and the Celtic Freeport leading a new generation of sustainable manufacturing and energy innovation.

“For example, HVM Catapult's new Baglan site in Port Talbot, opened in partnership with the Welsh Government, will offer manufacturers of all shapes and sizes access to state-of-the-art digital technologies to boost their productivity and sustainability efforts.

“As such investment continues, securing hydrogen technology supply chains must be a top priority for Wales – and indeed, the whole of the UK. Now is the time to act and lay strong foundations for our green industrial future.”

The Hydrogen Innovation Initiative is a group of world-leading technology centres and Catapults, working alongside government and industry and supported by Innovate UK.

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