A new aviation alliance called Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) has been co-founded by Airbus, EasyJet and Rolls Royce. The alliance also includes Bristol Airport, GKN aerospace and Orsted. The companies have come together with a joint aim to promote the role of low-carbon hydrogen as a future fuel.
The plan for the new alliance is for the businesses to collectively push for the UK Government to make changes which will allow the development of hydrogen-powered aircrafts, infrastructure and supply chains to be accelerated. Alongside this, the companies will produce a “clear and deliverable” pathway over the next few months which will outline how hydrogen can be used within the aviation industry. This plan will also show how using hydrogen in the aviation sector can co-exist alongside the Government’s pre-existing plan for energy security and costs.
This plan was developed after last April when the Government doubled its low-carbon hydrogen production capacity target for 2030 from 5GW to 10GW. One plan to reach this goal is to reduce life-cycle emissions, as despite the production process emitting no CO2e emissions when burned, the life-cycle emissions are still high.
The UK is looking to become a leader in hydrogen aviation, and this will involve creating alternative methods of production which will result in lower life-cycle emissions, which is where the new alliance comes in. The joined companies view hydrogen as the way forwards for the aviation sector, so they are looking for the Government to promote hydrogen in aviation and to then test the sector to ensure they are ready to switch to hydrogen.
The EasyJet chief executive, Johan Lundgren said, “There is no doubt that the UK has the potential to become a world leader in hydrogen aviation, which could bring with it a £34bn per annum boost to the country’s economy by 2050, but in order to capture this opportunity, rapid change is needed and the time to act is now.”