UK TSB Invests £7m In Fuel Cells and Hydrogen The UKs Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has announced that it to fund 15 demonstration projects for both transport and stationary applications to the value of £7 million (US$4.5 million) Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “By providing capital funding towards the cost of demonstration, this important programme will enable British companies to collaborate to commercialise fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. Covering both the transport and stationary market applications, the funding will support and take forward already successful research, development and prototyping projects”. As part of the UK governments attempt to boost fuel cell and hydrogen activity it has named Wales as one of its flagship Low Carbon Economic Areas (LCEA) for developing alternative fuels, including hydrogen from renewable sources. The Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA) will be focused in South Wales, extending as far as Swindon in the South West. The LCEA designation is intended to position the region as leading centre for driving forward the industrial production and use of hydrogen and fuel cells as well as developing renewable alternative fuels for the auto sector. South Wales is the sixth LCEA to be announced by the Government. Earlier this week it announced the Midlands would become a lead centre in the development of low carbon automotive engineering. LCEAs aim to accelerate the development of priority low carbon sectors by focussing on geographic areas of the UK where there are existing strengths. A “hydrogen highway”, running from South Wales along the M4 corridor into the South East, will enable vehicles to refuel with hydrogen and other alternative fuels as well as aim to attract companies at the cutting edge of hydrogen and fuel cells technology development to the region. Central to the LCEA announcement is the news the University of Glamorgan is investing £6.3 million to develop new hydrogen industries, new hydrogen energy processes, products and services, including a hydrogen combustion engine test facility at Baglan.
Editorial Comment: This is a very encouraging initiative. The stabilisation of atmospheric CO2 levels should, in turn, stabilise the level of ocean acidification. The stabilisation should help coral reefs to regenerate by facilitating the uptake of calcium carbonate.