A new energy group dedicated to putting Greater Brighton at the forefront of a hydrogen fuel revolution has been established.

Local authorities, businesses and organisations from across the region and further across the county have formed a group called Hydrogen Sussex which will launch on Friday, February 26.

By pooling expertise and lobbying power Hydrogen Sussex aims to position the clean fuel as a mainstream energy carrier to help the drive to become a zero carbon economy.

Hydrogen Sussex grew out of the Greater Brighton Energy Plan which launched in 2020. Its broad membership, led by the Greater Brighton, has world leading thinkers, engineers and enterprises, including local authorities, universities, a world leading engineering firm, airports, ports, buses, major consultancies, utilities companies, Coast-to-Capital LEP, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Hydrogen Sussex will be well placed to support and stimulate the development of clean alternatives for some of the highest emitters of carbon and air pollution that are also critical for the UK economy – planes, ships, lorries, and buses.

The bid to encourage the develop of Hydrogen comes as one the group’s members, Shoreham Port, announces it has begun work on an ambitious new partnership with H2evolution to create a green hydrogen hub. A planning application will shortly be developed to establish a 20-megawatt electrolysis plant to the south of the Port’s famous lock gates.

HydrogenSussex has already helped facilitate conversations and projects between members. Brighton & Hove buses and engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo are now working together on a project to convert existing buses to hydrogen fuel cells. The bus company is planning to introduce 54 hydrogen buses in Crawley with Metrobus; this would be a world first commercially led application in the bus industry and the largest deployment of fuel cell buses in Europe

The work also backs the GB10, Greater Brighton’s 10 pledges on the environment, which includes commitments to promote clean fuel

Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and Greater Brighton’s lead for Green Growth, said:

“With just nine years to limit the catastrophic effects of global warming, we take another step in the greatest challenge of our time launching the new group HydrogenSussex.

“Bringing together all the important partners, the new group will support this game-changing technology. There’s huge potential to assist our Region’s journey to net zero, drastically improve air quality locally and provide substantial economic benefits to the City Region and the wider Sussex region as we recover from the pandemic.

“This is the first step of many to develop our region as a hydrogen fuel hub. There is much to do but this has launched us off the starting block.”

Abigail Dombey, Chair of Hydrogen Sussex said:

“This is great example of the best minds and organisations in Sussex developing a common solution to a very challenging problem. Hydrogen Sussex has a great mix of engineers, policy makers and entrepreneurs, and we are keen to show the world what can be done if we work together.”

Hydrogen Sussex can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter @HydrogenSussex

Register for the launch on the Eventbrite website

For enquiries please contact info@hydrogensussex.org

Photo: A hydrogen fuel cell Wrightbus visits Brighton. Brighton & Hove Buses will be purchasing similar models

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