Government Minister visits University’s Hydrogen Centre

David Lidington

Minister for the Cabinet the Rt Hon David Lidington visited the University of South Wales’ Hydrogen Research & Development Centre in Baglan earlier this week.

The Minister was there to discover more about FLEXIS (Flexible Integrated Energy Systems), a partnership which aims to create a resilient, affordable, green energy system across Wales with potential for global application.

FLEXIS is a consortium of five strategic partners – USW, Cardiff University, Swansea University, Neath Port Talbot Borough Council and Tata Steel Port Talbot.

During the visit Mr Lidington praised FLEXIS for being good example of  example of universities, scientists, business and local government working together on ways to meet the Net Zero strategy.

A round-table session with FLEXIS academics and partners covered the need for a multi-vector approach to energy modelling, the issues around energy storage and the formation of a South Wales industry cluster.

During a tour of USW’s Hydrogen R&D Centre, the Minister was informed about the potential of hydrogen, both as a means to accommodate more renewable electricity into the network, and of reducing carbon emissions from heating through injecting hydrogen into the gas grid.

Re-fuelling a Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service hydrogen-powered car gave the opportunity to discuss hydrogen as a zero-carbon fuel for transport for road and rail.

FLEXIS aims to de-risk decarbonisation by enabling low carbon transport, integrating renewables into the grid and developing reliable means of carbon capture and storage. Its unique approach models energy flows and uses social science expertise to understand public perception of new energy technologies.

In June, the UK became the first country in the world to commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 by law.