New plans to boost hydrogen energy in the West Country are poised to create as many as 40,000 new and skilled jobs according to developers. A new local authority partnership across Western England and South Wales, called the Western Gateway, is working to support new hydrogen research that could drive clean aviation fuel creation and steel work.
Hydrogen engines combine hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity and only produce water as the waste outcome. Many industries and firms want to use this source of power, including aerospace, airports and universities. The hope is that Wilsthire could become a leader in this green energy source.
At the same time in Wiltshire, a new solar farm has opened in Codford, with 72 acres of space turned over to solar arrays; enough to power nearly 5,000 homes. The solar farm has been developed by Centrica and it will produce up to 18Mw of clean energy at full capacity.
CEO of Centrica, Chris O'Shea, explained that, contrary to widespread perceptions, the sun doesn't need to shine at summer intensity for solar energy in the UK to be worthwhile. On a bright day, he added, solar could be responsible for generating up to a quarter of the UK's total electricity needs.
He added that he was confident the UK could hit its net zero targets far quicker than 2050 if the right policies and support were put in place, particularly with the winds that the UK has for wind power, and the land space for solar arrays.
Codford is the UK's first solar farm opened by Centrica, and Wiltshire is already the UK's no.2 hotspot for solar developments, positioning the county to become an exciting area for economic growth and skilled job creation.