Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership Launched

05 Mar 2013

GMHP car and lightOn Monday 4th March 2013, an event was held at the Manchester Metropolitan University to mark the launch of the Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership (GMHP). The partnership’s co-founders are the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Manchester Metropolitan University; these members are looking to attract interest and grow the group further.

Greater Manchester has an existing energy plan with targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 48% regionally by 2020 (versus 1990 levels). The idea to form the GMHP originated back in September 2012 and the initial ambition was to rollout fuel cell demonstrations for public and commercial buildings. At the launch, Dr John Hindley, Head of Environmental Sustainability at MMU stated the current aim was to create a network of Manchester-based stationary fuel cells to reduce grid dependence in the region and also transportation fuel cells to reduce CO2 emissions. At the same time the partnership plans to develop job opportunities in the region and support educational initiatives. As part of its educational drive, GMHP wants to mirror the work by the London Hydrogen Partnership in its London Schools Hydrogen Challenge.

Manchester City Councillor Neil Swannick said the council had recently placed fourth in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Performance League Table and Greater Manchester had bold ambitions for a sustainable and low carbon future. Cllr. Swannick added that hydrogen will be one part of a multi-faceted approach which will contribute to Manchester’s ambitious carbon reduction target.

On the transport side, David Hytch, Information Systems Director (Technology Initiatives) at Transport for Greater Manchester spoke about the scale of the region’s public transport, operating more than a quarter of a billion public transport journeys per year. Expansions are planned to the MetroLink, among other areas, and with goals to reduce transportation carbon emissions hydrogen could play a key role. The department already runs a hydro-electric plant on the river Roch providing 86,000 kWh of electricity to a local interchange. It also uses a wind turbine to provide up to 50% of the electricity needs to Horwich Parkway railway station.

There followed a networking session, and the Partnership had on display a BOC Hymera/Youngman fuel cell lighting array and a fuel cell Microcab vehicle (both shown below).

If you are interested in finding out more about the Partnership, or in joining its efforts, you can contact them through its website by clicking here.

GMHP Hymera YoungmanGMHP Microcab

Images: Fuel Cell Today

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