UK’s construction sector to decarbonise with hydrogen

Image credit: Mace

A new partnership has been formed to help decarbonise the UK’s construction industry using hydrogen.

Hydrogen power generation solutions firm AFC Energy and construction firm Mace Group will co-deploy zero-emission hydrogen generators to decarbonise construction sites both in and outside the UK.

The aim is to get rid of the sector’s reliance on polluting diesel generators.

AFC Energy and Mace will commission their first AFC Energy H-Power hydrogen systems on site in early 2022.

The collaboration comes at a time the construction industry is accounting for 37% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

In London alone, 14.5% of the most harmful emissions are from stationary diesel generators on construction sites, according to a statement.

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Mace will leverage this partnership to move closer to its goal of achieving a 10% year on year reduction in carbon emissions from its operations and to remove diesel generators from its sites by 2026.

In addition to introducing AFC Energy’s fuel cell system across Mace’s construction sites, the two companies will work with plant hire companies and Government to promote the benefits of utilising hydrogen-based fuels to help the industry sustainably move away from diesel in construction.

The provision of temporary power to construction sites is currently provided through the hiring of on-site diesel gensets through plant hire businesses rather than constructors purchasing generators directly.  To drive the decarbonisation of the construction industry, it is essential that a market-based demand for alternative, sustainable on-site generation is signalled to plant hire businesses through partnerships like this one to support investment in deployable clean energy technologies including hydrogen fuel cells. 

Adam Bond, the CEO of AFC Energy, said: “A sustainable construction industry and the need for improved urban air quality is driving growing contractor interest in transitioning away from diesel generators in meeting today’s temporary power needs.à‚ AFC Energy’s zero emission, hydrogen fuelled power generator addresses this growing demand for cleaner power.à‚ à‚ à‚ 

Mace is leading the construction sector’s transition away from diesel to sustainable power generation and our partnership, the first of its kind in the UK, will highlight to Government and industry just how zero-emission technology can be adopted to significantly accelerate decarbonisation and meet Net Zero aspirations.”

Mark Reynolds, Mace’s Group chief executive, added:à‚ “One of our strategic priorities as an organisation is the pursuit of a sustainable world ” and to make that a reality we know we must change how we power our construction sites. This partnership with AFC Energy will hopefully be a significant step on our journey to removing diesel from our projects ” helping to reduce emissions, pollutants and noise.”

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