A new report from the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) finds Britain could be in a position to ‘lead the world in hydrogen power.’
The think-tank report, Driving Change, highlights the importance of full transport decarbonisation, leaving no type of vehicle behind, as doing so would ‘forfeit significant future economic opportunities.’
With Government ambitions to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the report sets out how the key is Transport, now the biggest contributor to emissions.
CPS is calling on Government to spread their focus to heavy duty vehicles like buses, trains, trucks and ships as well as cars.
These vehicles are better placed to use hydrogen power than electric batteries and claim Britain ‘can lead the world in hydrogen power’ if this approach is embedding in to the Department for Transport’s strategy.
Author Eamonn Ives instils the importance of hydrogen when tackling transport decarbonisation, and suggests the UK bus fleet could be a testbed for the technology.
In order to ensure the UK leads the way for a new, low-carbon industry, with significant export potential and thousands of green jobs, a hydrogen infrastructure is needed sooner rather than later, according to the report.
Eamonn Ives, CPS Business Researcher and author of the report, said: “One of the few benefits of the Coronavirus lockdown has been the dramatic improvement in air quality. To continue enjoying this unexpected bonus, we need to speed up the transition to zero-emission vehicles - like electric cars or hydrogen-powered buses.
"Our report outlines how the government could level the playing field between polluting and cleaner vehicles to achieve this, while better protecting everyone's health, and getting us on track to hit Net Zero.”
Other recommendations include developing a UK-wide hydrogen strategy before COP26, investing in hydrogen infrastructure via the Government’s clean energy funds, setting a 2038 target of a zero-emission UK bus fleets and introducing clean air targets in line with WHO guidelines while strengthening Clean Air Zones.
The Rt Hon. Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “We have the opportunity to create a more prosperous, stronger and greener country and transport will be at the heart of that.”