Caerphilly Council backs motion in support of hydrogen-powered public transport

Caerphilly County Borough Council has backed a motion calling for hydrogen to be considered as a renewable energy source to power trains and buses.

The motion was proposed by cllr Phil Bevan, Plaid Cymru, at a full council meeting on Tuesday, July 17.

Cllr Bevan asked colleagues to consider the research of Simon Thomas, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, who has published a paper exploring the economic potential of hydrogen in the decarbonisation of transport in Wales.

The motion was carried and supported by members of all parties.

Germany, Austria, China and Canada are some of the countries developing hydrogen-powered trains and buses, while there is also a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses currently in operation in Aberdeen.

Cllr Bevan asked fellow elected members to consider the findings of the report in a motion supported by cllr Colin Mann, leader of the council’s Plaid Cymru group.

Cllr Bevan said: “The potential of hydrogen to help solve some of the biggest problems facing Wales now and in the future needs to be fully explored.

“Due to its versatility, abundance and practical benefits, hydrogen offers one of the main pathways to decarbonisation.

“There has been very little research conducted on the use of hydrogen for these purposes in Wales to date and there needs to discussion on how to develop a hydrogen strategy and drive forward expertise and interest in the technology.”

Councillor Mann agreed that hydrogen power could have “huge potential” if implemented in Wales.

He said: “Maybe we can actually get to the forefront of some technologies. We’ve been scuppered on the [Swansea Bay] tidal lagoon by the UK Government and there’s now an opportunity to get in front of the game.”

The major limitations to hydrogen-powered vehicles include its cost, the infancy of technology and its competition in the market place with electric-powered vehicles.

Labour councillor David Poole, leader of the council, offered his support but urged caution about the high costs of using hydrogen for energy.

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