New fuels and technologies will account for between one half and three-quarters of the reduction of carbon emissions in aviation by 2050.

Global sustainable development consultancy Arup and gas distribution network Wales and West Utilities (WWU) have launched a new report assessing demand for hydrogen across the aviation supply chain.

Hydrogen in Aviation looks at the potential demand for hydrogen across South Wales and South West England, focusing on four key airports in the region – Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Cornwall Airport Newquay. The report analyses potential use of hydrogen for future flight, its use at airports, and its role in Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) from 2023 to 2050. Demand assessment is vital in aligning the hydrogen supply chain for the region, helping potential suppliers inform business plans and collaboration decisions, as well as to understand where and when pipelines may be required in the future.

Hydrogen in Aviation offers insight into hydrogen’s role in decarbonising aviation, whether that is as a feedstock for SAF, powering ground support equipment at airports, or fuelling aircraft. It also covers expected barriers for implementation, gas transportation methods, policy, and contributing projects in the region. 


Hydrogen's role in aviation

Following the ambitious targets set as part of the Jet Zero Strategy launch in 2022, the report identifies and explores the role of hydrogen as the industry prepares to deliver a 10% SAF mix by 2030 followed by net zero flight by 2050. Hydrogen-powered flight and hydrogen’s role in SAF will be key to achieving this.

Emily Wiltshire, senior consultant, Arup, said: “With aviation requiring some of the largest quantities of hydrogen to decarbonise across the transportation industry, Arup and WWU’s Hydrogen in Aviation report will serve as a helpful knowledge base to drive the hydrogen ecosystem for the South West and South Wales. More broadly, it will provide insights and a repeatable methodology for other GDNs [gas distribution networks] to follow.”

Using South Wales and South West England as a testbed to enable national progress, the report navigates the requirements for hydrogen to be integrated across the aviation ecosystem, in particularly for infrastructure.

Arup also announced that it has joined Hydrogen South West – an organisation which enables cross-sectoral partnerships that drive the development of hydrogen infrastructure and technology.

Image: Arup