Co-ordinator for Systems Integration, Centre for System Integration of Hydrogen and Alternative Liquid Fuels (CSI-HALF)

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels have an essential role in the net zero transition by providing connectivity and flexibility across the energy system. Despite advancements in the field of hydrogen research both in the physical sciences and engineering, significant barriers remain to the scalable adoption of hydrogen and alternative liquid fuel technologies, and energy services, into the UK's local and national whole system infrastructure policy. These are technical barriers, organisational barriers, regulatory and societal barriers, and financial barriers.

The vision as Co-ordinator of the Centre for Systems Integration of Hydrogen and Alternative Fuels (CSI-HALF) is to deliver a fundamental shift in critical analysis of the role of hydrogen in the context of the overall energy landscape, through the creation of robust tools which are investment-oriented in their analysis. A Whole Systems and Energy Systems Integration approach is needed here, in order to better understand the interconnected and interdependent nature of complex energy systems from a technical, social, environmental and economic perspective.

This 6-month proposal is to deliver key stakeholder engagement, to develop a comprehensive, co-created research programme for the Centre.

The Centre is led by Prof Sara Walker, currently Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, supported by Prof David Flynn of Heriot Watt University and Prof Jianzhong Wu of Cardiff University. The team have extensive experience of large energy research projects and strong networks of stakeholders across England, Wales and Scotland. They bring to the Centre major hydrogen demonstrators through support from partners involved in InTEGReL in Gateshead, ReFLEX in Orkney, and FLEXIS Demonstration in South Wales for example.

This 6-month phase is an engagement exercise. It is our responsibility to engage with the community in a manner which respects and supports their motivations. Our philosophy in undertaking this engagement work is based around principles of inclusion, authenticity and tailoring. We will de-risk the integration of HALF into the UK energy system, through full representation of the hydrogen spectrum with open and integrated analysis of top-down and ground-up perspectives, including representation of the immediate and wider stakeholder group e.g. financial markets. We shall engage with this broad section of stakeholders with the support of experts in citizen and community engagement. These expert partners will enable us to produce the highest possible quality of engagement in the 6-month period.

Our initial approaches to key stakeholders have been extremely positive. We have already engaged with, and have support from representatives of: pink, green and blue hydrogen production; hydrogen transportation stakeholders; hydrogen end users; policy makers and community groups; financial and consultation organisations; and key academics.

We shall engage to create a vibrant, diverse, and open community that has a deeper understanding of whole systems approaches and the role of hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels (HALF) within that. We shall do so in a way which embeds EDI in the approach. We shall do so in a way which is a hybrid of virtual and in-person field work consultation, and develop appropriate digital tools for engagement. This builds on accredited practices and inclusive key performance indicators. The network created as a result of the engagement activity will be consulted on with respect to key research questions for the Centre, to co-create a research programme.

Through relationship building, webinars and focus groups, we shall deliver an expertise map for hydrogen integration, an information pack containing the state of the art "commons", and a full proposal with comprehensive research programme which has extensive community buy-in.

Publications

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