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Why the Humber paves the way for the UK’s low carbon energy future 

As the UK seeks to take the lead in addressing climate change, we all must do our bit to help reach national climate goals.

This includes the oil and gas industry, which is taking steps to cut emissions and support the shift to low carbon energy sources, while also protecting jobs and creating the energy careers of the future.

The Humber region is an excellent example of this in action. Dubbed the nation’s ‘Energy Estuary’, it has a historic role at the heart of UK energy production and is home to several major oil and gas players. Today, the region is drawing on its wealth of experience and expertise in energy production to lead the way towards a low carbon energy future.

Read more: Humber is ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to delivering on UK’s Hydrogen Strategy

Equinor’s Hydrogen 2 Humber (H2H) Saltend project is looking to capitalise on the region’s industrial expertise and infrastructure to produce hydrogen from natural gas while capturing the carbon from the process. The project even has the potential to produce low carbon alternatives to marine fuels, a move that would make the Port of Hull one of the first ports in the world to offer low carbon maritime refuelling.

The area could also soon become home to the planned Keadby Hydrogen power plant. Led by Equinor and SSE, the pioneering plant could grow into the world’s first large scale power station that is 100 per cent hydrogen-fuelled, with the potential to bring huge investment to the local area. The wheels are in motion, with Equinor having recently announced plans to triple its UK blue hydrogen production capacity to 1.8GW by 2030 as it looks to supply the plant.

Alongside hydrogen production, SSE and Equinor plan to team up again to develop what would be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities in the Humber region at their existing Aldbrough site.

The planned Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage facility is expected to have an initial capacity of at least 320 GWh, which would make it considerably larger than any other facility in operation.

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Developments like these are driving forward plans to develop the Humber region into one of the world’s first net zero industrial clusters, leading the way to decarbonise the North of England. Known as the Zero Carbon Humber plan, a consortium of leading energy and industrial companies and academic institutions – including Centrica, Drax and National Grid – are coming together to carve out a place for the Humber at the heart of the UK’s cleaner energy future.

Only last month the Zero Carbon Humber plan took an important step forward when the Northern Endurance Partnership – formed by BP, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total – submitted a plan to the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which could see the government back plans for major carbon capture and storage deployment in the North of England, helping to decarbonise the country’s industrial heartland.

The Humber is playing an increasingly vital role in the UK’s green economy as a hub for cleaner energy production. And the oil and gas companies operating in the region are developing cutting-edge technology and solutions, drawing on the skills, expertise and insight accumulated over more than five decades in energy production.

The nation’s energy sector is poised for ground-breaking changes and oil and gas companies, including those on the Humber, have an important role to play in driving positive change and facilitating the transition to a low carbon energy future.

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