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UK to focus on hydrogen-powered transport to decarbonise aviation, says transport secretary

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The UK is to give attention to creating hydrogen-powered transport with a view to decarbonise air journey, in keeping with the transport secretary.

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Talking on the Expo 2020 Dubai, Grant Shapps introduced plans for an innovation centre in partnership with the United Arab Emirates, the place the main focus will probably be applied sciences that may scale back emissions for the aviation and delivery industries.

“The largest problem is decarbonising worldwide transport,” mentioned Mr Shapps at a future journey discussion board on the UK pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which was postponed from final yr because of the pandemic.

“Considered one of our priorities will probably be to advertise totally different types of hydrogen-powered transport in Dubai to change into a spotlight of collaboration between the 2 nations.

“It’s one factor to do it domestically, however rising maritime and aviation emissions are a world downside and wish a world resolution.”

He added {that a} transport “revolution” was on the horizon: “It received’t be triggered by a single innovation, however one thing extra advanced and an entire vary of applied sciences utilizing electrical energy, hydrogen and massive knowledge to function the way in which we journey.

“We should break a 200-year-old hyperlink between the rise in journey and the rise of carbon emissions, that will probably be our large problem.”

The innovation centre will open in 2022 in District 2020, the location of Expo 2020.

Mr Shapps emphasised that one of many greatest focuses could be slicing flight emissions.

“If we will decarbonise aviation, the remainder of transport is comparatively easy,” he mentioned.

“Lengthy-term targets have to be balanced with short-term objectives like increasing the roll-out of sustainable aviation fuels.

“We need to increase that acceleration in direction of cleaner fuels, and we’re working with the UAE to carry that initiative alive.”

He additionally laid out a goal of attaining zero delivery emissions by 2050.

Though hydrogen and electrical energy each have the potential to realize zero-carbon flights, each include vital obstacles in terms of rolling them out at scale worldwide – significantly in terms of long-haul routes.

Electrical-powered flights will solely be viable for short-haul hops for the foreseeable because of the inherent weight of the batteries wanted to function them, whereas the quantity of liquid hydrogen required to gas a flight is 4 occasions that of kerosene.

The latter expertise additionally requires a serious infrastructure overhaul at airports with a view to be viable: locations to retailer hydrogen on the required temperature, totally different refuelling stations and, most probably, new plane.

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