Derby targets status as leading UK centre for future fuels


Derby has set out its ambition to become the UK’s centre of excellence for future fuel technologies.

On 21 October, Derby City Council announced the city is assembling a partnership of leading companies and academics to drive forward its plans, which would see the city’s advanced manufacturing expertise used to transform the way low carbon energy is used to power businesses, transport and homes. The plans should also credit jobs and reduce costs for both domestic and commercial customers, while assisting with UK energy security and supporting key pillars of Derby’s plan to recover economically from coronavirus.

The proposals recognise work that is already underway locally to harness the power of both nuclear and hydrogen power. A study has been commissioned to look at the potential of hydrogen as part of the future fuel landscape in the region covered by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. Consultants have already been appointed to look at a detailed five-year roadmap for hydrogen across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, along with an outline plan for a further 15 years.

The purchase of a city site where an integrated energy approach can be launched and demonstrated is also being considered, linking clean energy and by-product power sources to commercial and domestic users. It would also include a low carbon public transport hub. Leader of the council, Councillor Chris Poulter, said the city’s strengths in innovation and engineering meant it was well placed to lead on development of the new future fuel technology. On hydrogen, Poulter added: “Hydrogen, specifically, is exciting as by-product, currently waste energy can be captured to produce hydrogen, which can then be stored as an energy source. Hydrogen as a fuel offers much of the same convenience as current mainstream fuel sources but its by-product is water.”