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Let's make our town greener
8:00pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
A GROUP has been created with the aim of making Swindon the Centre of Excellence in the UK for Hydrogen technologies.
The Swindon Hydrogen Group sees a number of organisations come together who will work to make the town a greener place to live and work.
Among them are Swindon Council, Honda, Swindon Commercial Services and representatives from the new University Technical College.
Hydrogen has the potential to be used in a variety of fields, including transport, manufacturing, as well as a source of energy.
The town has already been identified as a leader in the technology, with Honda installing the country’s first hydrogen commercial filling station in 2011.
On top of that, a pilot project to demonstrate the commercial potential of using hydrogen fuel in an everyday setting is underway in Swindon. A number of vehicles, including Ford Transit vans and forklift trucks, are in the process of being converted for hydrogen fuel use.
Using a Hydrogen Roadmap, a number of different objectives have been identified, with the aim of achieving them by the end of the decade.
One of the objectives is to introduce a car club using hydrogen powered cars as well as exploring the possibility of introducing a fleet of hydrogen run buses or taxis.
A spokesman for Forward Swindon said: “Hydrogen is very big for Swindon. Forward Swindon, SBC and our partners have created a Roadmap to layout how hydrogen fuel may contribute to economic development in Swindon.
“Although not entirely the first local authority to set up an ambitious plan for the adoption and exploitation of H2, Swindon is part of a very advanced group, so far larger conurbations such as London, Manchester and Aberdeen have developed strategies for growth in the H2 sector in the UK”
Swindon Council’s cabinet will vote tonight to approve the Swindon Hydrogen Roadmap which will build on the momentum already achieved by Swindon’s hydrogen agenda.
The council will play a lead role in the project, which aims to identify, develop and deliver an integrated programme of hydrogen-based projects through a consortium of relevant stakeholders.
The Forward Swindon spokesman said: “Swindon has a ready made opportunity because of the existing skills in engineering and Hydrogen technologies based here, and the Hydrogen Roadmap sets out to define how this sector will be nurtured and developed.
“There are four strands of development: renewable energy production; storage and grid re-balancing; transport; residential and industrial heat and power.”
The commitment to hydrogen technology will go before the cabinet alongside a plan to put every home in Swindon on low-carbon renewable energy by the 2020.
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