Global energy experts head to West Midlands

From left, John Jostins, CEO of Microcab with Tony McNally, Managing Director of Climate Change Solutions.Hundreds of global experts are heading to the West Midlands next month to explore ways to make an alternative energy source available to millions of people over the next few years.

Delegates from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from fuel manufacturers and research institutions to vehicle exhibitors and the automotive supply chain, will meet at the International Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Conference NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday March 15, to discuss hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

Hydrogen and fuel cell technology is where hydrogen is mixed with oxygen to create electricity, producing water in the process to make it more environmentally friendly than traditionally burning fossil fuels.

Visitors from across the globe will be investigating the practicality of bringing this energy source to the mainstream. Topics up for discussion include the production and storage of hydrogen, investment, and applications in buses, trains and planes.

The technology has already taken major strides in the automotive industry and this year’s conference will include the world’s first ever mass produced car fuelled by hydrogen and fuel cells – the Toyota Mirai.

Coventry-based firm Microcab will also showcase its H2EV vehicle, which is a hybrid model that can be powered by hydrogen fuel cells or a standard battery, and can be used as a four seater car to travel up to 180 miles and reach speeds of 55mph.

One of the University of Birmingham’s PhD researchers, Rosie Bullock will be delivering a presentation on how to bring this technology into the mainstream.

The conference is now in its twelfth year and has been organised by Climate Change Solutions, an organisation based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore which aims to promote solutions to climate change, such as encouraging the use of hydrogen and fuel cells to lower carbon emissions and air pollution.

Tony McNally, managing director of Climate Change Solutions, said: “Fuel cells have the potential to power 90 per cent of the UK’s homes and businesses, however this isn’t going to happen overnight, and major cross-industry cooperation is needed to roll this out further.

“The conference is an ideal opportunity for businesses from a variety of sectors to network and find out more about how this technology can help their company.

“While the automotive industry is making the most progress at the moment, we’re particularly keen to speak with local authorities and housing associations to see how we can bring more affordable energy into people’s homes.”

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