The Fuel Cells & Hydrogen and Joint Undertaking – a €1.4billion programme to support research and innovation in green energy across Europe – has published a major international report, with Manchester Metropolitan University representing the entire North West region of England.
The University officially opened the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre (MFCIC) in September 2018, a £4.1m facility in the heart of the city centre, dedicated to developing new sources of sustainable, emission free energy and making it available to small businesses in the region.
billion in annual sales.
Greater Manchester Whole System Smart Energy Plan
The Greater Manchester Whole System Smart Energy Plan, which is currently in development, will indicate that hydrogen and fuel cells have a role to play in the future whole energy system approach for Manchester.
Manchester Met will lead and develop a hydrogen ‘workstream’ as part of the Greater Manchester Smart Energy Plan, which will also feature within the Local Industrial Strategy and support the delivery of the proposed Smart Energy Plan.
The MFCIC, working with MetroPolis, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and a number of members of industry stakeholders, will look to accelerate policy development for hydrogen and fuel cells, and drive forward the impact of academic research on regional, national and international levels.
MetroPolis is a research-led think tank based at Manchester Met, which promotes evidence-informed policy based on the University’s world-class research.
“We are proud to represent the North West in this significant project that spans Europe, demonstrating that the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre is at the cutting edge of research and innovation in hydrogen and fuel cell energy.
What are fuel cells?
Hydrogen and fuel cell technology creates sustainable electrical energy through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen – with water as the only by-product.
The technology could power homes, offices, factories, cars and public transport – making them more efficient and not dependent on the main power grid.
Fuel cells have higher efficiency than diesel or gas engines, operate silently and the only waste product at point of use is heat and water. They can be used to store energy efficiently, which other forms of renewable energy currently struggle to do.
Working with business, industry and schools
The MFCIC is at the forefront of this technology, and researchers at Manchester Met will share their expertise and £2.5m of dedicated specialist equipment with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Greater Manchester – training them in this new technology so they can discover and utilise its commercial and environmental benefits.
Over the coming months, MFCIC will run workshops to show SMEs how they can improve efficiency and open up new market opportunities by collaborating with researchers and incorporating hydrogen and fuel cell technology.
MFCIC researchers will also educate the next generation about hydrogen power and the importance of ensuring an environmentally sustainable future, visiting Greater Manchester schools with its HySchools project.