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  1. IKIGAI and DNV launch the Thames Estuary Hydrogen Route Map

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    Ikigai Capital and DNV has launched the Thames Estuary Hydrogen Route Map, a masterplan that introduces the potentials of a hydrogen economy in the Estuary. A copy of the document can be downloaded here.

    This significant step forward in hydrogen energy in the UK will keep the nation on track to net zero, supporting 9,000 jobs and delivering £3.8bn GVA to the UK economy by 2035.

    “We were so excited to be selected eight months ago to deliver the hydrogen investment plan for TEGB”, said Helena Anderson, co-founder of Ikigai. “We are now in a position to dig deeper into real and sustainable solutions for different clusters across the area. We are confident that, working with Thames Estuary Growth Board, we can translate the Green Blue action plan into billions of Net Zero investment into the south-east. We are entering into a new phase of the plan now to develop a pipeline of investable projects and to attract funding to deploy these projects and start decarbonising the Thames Estuary”.

    The Hydrogen Route Map identifies where demand, supply, distribution and storage opportunities exist; outlines requirements of the investment market and pinpoints investment clusters; establishes a broad set of relationships with key stakeholders; and highlights the competitive advantage of locating a hydrogen ecosystem in the Thames Estuary.

    Nationally, this will keep the UK on target to net zero by reducing carbon emissions by up to 5.9 million tons annually. Ahead of COP26, the Thames Estuary is ready to play its part in international efforts to research, produce and use clean energy.

    Kate Willard OBE, Estuary Envoy and Chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board said: “We are proud and excited to launch The Thames Estuary Hydrogen Route Map. Through our Green Blue vision, our objective is to unlock £190bn of national growth potential by capitalising upon the unique built and natural assets of the Thames Estuary. The Growth Board works tirelessly to identify and catalyse new opportunities to create the cleanest and greenest river-side region anywhere on the planet.

    Over the past eight months, we have looked across the Estuary to understand the needs and opportunities and articulate the scope for a hydrogen ecosystem which is compelling and capable of attracting multi-billion-pound investment. A hydrogen ecosystem in the Estuary will have far-reaching, positive implications not only for the region, but for the UK as a whole.”

    The Estuary’s position next to the capital and stretching out to the North Sea means it is uniquely placed to deliver a hydrogen ecosystem. The region has a wide range of potential end users across a number of industries, such as high heat industrial, transport (road, rail, air and river), data, and heating, with each starting to develop plans for their journey towards zero carbon.

    Additionally, major infrastructure projects such as the Lower Thames Crossing offer an opportunity to demonstrate fossil fuel-free alternatives for construction. Crucially, in terms of storage, local demand for carbon dioxide presents an opportunity for re-use. Lastly, the Thames is also the largest port cluster in the UK, supported by a significant fleet of back-to-base logistics operations situated in multiple port locations.

    Across the Thames Estuary region, developments in hydrogen will unlock substantial benefits for people and local economies, attracting more than £2.2billion of investment, and supporting its levelling up through job creation. The transition away from fossil fuels will help address issues of poor air quality and improve health and wellbeing.

    The benefits of hydrogen are abundant. Hydrogen is a clean, renewable energy source in bountiful supply, with numerous sources to produce locally and a sustainable production system. It’s non-toxic and far more efficient than other sources of energy. Hydrogen can be a key enabler of decarbonisation across the heat and transport sectors, as well as energy-intensive industries such as chemicals, oil refineries and power.

    This week, the Thames Estuary will be calling on Government to back our Hydrogen Route Map in the Comprehensive Spending Review by providing source funding to kick off our ‘Living Labs’ concept, a catalyst focused on early stage (TRL 3-7), pre-commercialisation H2 technologies.

    The UK Government is committed to delivering hydrogen at scale and plans to work with industry to achieve 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity in the UK by 2030. The Thames Estuary has the capability to power this ambition and support the Government in becoming a global player in hydrogen energy, owing to its natural and economic geography, and position as a strategic investment partner.

    Get in touch if you are an investor, developer, technology provider or funder looking to get involved in the Thames Estuary Hydrogen Investment plan.