The Humber region is the UK’s largest industrial cluster by carbon dioxide emissions; 12.4MtCO2 per year. This is due to the high-density of energy intensive industries such as refineries, power stations, steel works, glass industries and the port that flank the banks of the estuary.
Decarbonisation of the Humber is vital not just for the UK’s net-zero greenhouse gas 2050 target but also for the future of the Humber. The Humber is particularly exposed to rising sea levels with the second highest flood risk after the Thames. In response, the Humber region has set an ambitious target of becoming the world’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040. This will require a concentrated and coordinated effort from all regional sectors and stakeholders. Many of these industries cannot decarbonise through direct electrification. Renewable hydrogen is needed in these areas. Gigastack will demonstrate how renewable hydrogen will lower the carbon intensity of the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery feedstock by commercialising transformative technology and the possibility of further upscaling. This will align with the regional strategy under development through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
The skills and lessons learnt from this project will create the opportunity to roll-out the renewable hydrogen solution nationwide as well as the opportunity to export market-leading technology and labour for the UK supply chain. The Humber has the opportunity to become the centre of excellence in and global exporter of these innovative renewable hydrogen technologies and practices. This evolution has already been observed for the offshore wind sector. Here the region is now recognised as the centre for innovation and expertise in offshore wind technology. This is replicable for renewable hydrogen in the Humber. This is important for the Humber as this will both create and protect jobs in market leading professions.