The West Midlands was once again at the forefront of innovate, energy-efficient technology, as delegates packed into the NEC, Birmingham, for the thirteenth International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Conference.
On 14th March, 2017 a large crowd were treated to a series of impressive speeches from leading UK and international companies, including the Shell-Toyota Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, Johnson Matthey, and Microcab, in what was rightly billed as an ‘industry facing event’.
Those gathered included energy professionals, keen to understand the role this technology will play in future energy systems; along with those already involved in the sector, who were given the opportunity to collaborate on new developments and methods of delivering projects across a wide range of applications.
The Conference was immediately followed by The Midlands Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Network, which aims to consolidate the strengths of the hydrogen and fuel cell sector in the region. The four launch presenters represented significant public and private sector leadership: Councillor Lisa Trickett, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment; Matthew Rhodes, Managing Director of Encraft and Chair of Energy Capital; Mike Waters, Head of Policy and Strategy at Transport for West Midlands; and John Jostins, Professor of Sustainable Transport and Design at The University of Coventry.
The West Midlands’ role as the UK’s centre for hydrogen and fuel cell technology is expected to bring significant benefits in the shape of business investment, increased research and development, and new manufacturing jobs.
Jacqui Staunton, Project Director of Climate Change Solutions, was the key organiser of the conference. She said, ‘There was a real buzz about the event this year, with speakers emphasising how this technology is now ready for commercialisation in a range of applications, from public and private transport to heating our homes and workplaces, as well as balancing the grid. With five of the Hydrogen Council, who promised to invest $10 billion in hydrogen and fuel cells over the next 5 years, represented, this technology really has come of age.’
The full programme of events can be viewed here.