Industry Event

Mar 25, 2024

This week i3P were kindly invited by BAM UK & Ireland to their R&D round table event to discuss hydrogen fuel in the construction industry.

Convened by Colin Evison, Innovation Technical Lead at BAM UK & Ireland, guests included clients, contractors, consultants, plant providers, fuel manufacturers and government. The core discussion topic was how we can work together to create the conditions for hydrogen powered plant to become more commonly used on construction sites.

It was heartening to hear our policymakers talk about the cross-government commitment to net zero, and that they are making funding available to support the transition. Combined with strong shareholder interest and the public net zero commitments organisations have made, conditions are favourable for this transition to happen.

Key insights from the discussions included:

  • Focus on the plant that is difficult to electrify
  • 1st develop component technologies
  • 2nd demonstrate how these can be integrated into systems
  • Engage the regulators early – they are learning too
  • Overcoming transport and storage issues will be a big enabler
  • Business models will need to change – consider ‘energy as a service’
  • Carbon pathfinder projects grow understanding and confidence.
  • Avoid the temptation to have numerous trials of the same technologies.

Discussion points included – breaking the supply demand stalemate, the role of anchor clients in creating demand stability, and where new opportunities may emerge with the hydrogen economy. Example opportunities included using the oxygen generated at water treatment plants and using spare nuclear energy capacity to create hydrogen to store for later use.

In our net zero future electricity is expected to be the fuel of choice, with more of a mix of other fuels on sites than at present. Contracts will need to balance technical and commercial choices to keep the industry moving forward at the pace our planet needs.

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