Business leaders gathered at Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd (Absl) in Swindon today to drive conversation around hydrogen and its many uses.

The prestigious event saw the innovative firm Advanced Biofuel Solutions Ltd explore its plans to develop the world’s first plant to convert household waste into bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG). The facility, located in Swindon, UK, will convert 8,000 tonnes of waste into 22GWh of gas each year.

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) supported Absl with a loan of £1.25m in February 2020 from its Growing Places Infrastructure Fund programme, which has led to the creation of 30 new highly skilled engineering jobs.

The event marked the latest leg of a UK-wide roadshow, spearheaded by the Decarbonised Gas Alliance (DGA), a collective of nearly 30 expert organisations which have come together to help decarbonise the gas system and meet the country’s target of net zero climate emissions.

Launched in Westminster on 18 October, the ambitious national tour will run until 27 October, ending the weekend before the much-publicised UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

The DGA’s goal – with the support of members, Hydrogen Now, the UKHFCA and BEIS – is #GettingNetZeroDone.

Speaking about the Roadshow, DGA chair Chris Barron said: “Hydrogen – like many other decarbonised gases – can help us meet the UK’s ever-pressing need for net zero climate emissions, safely, at low cost, with minimal disruption, while creating thousands of sustainable jobs across the country.

“It has a particularly valuable role to play in the hard to decarbonise sectors like transport, industry and heat. As a nation, we rely heavily on these industries, but they account for 40% of UK greenhouse gases. They’re therefore the elephant in the room if we don’t work together to create a deliverable pathway to a net zero energy infrastructure.”

Robert Buckland Member of Parliament for South Swindon commented on the event: “I am pleased that the Hydrogen Industry Group Car will be making a stop here in Swindon at Advanced Biofuel Solutions on its way from Whitehall to Glasgow for COP 26.

“Following a loan from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership  in February 2020, Advanced Biofuel Solutions has been able to invest in essential capital equipment in the final phases of the construction and commissioning of its new energy plant here in the town.

“This has created 30 new jobs at the Swindon Plant. The company is also involved in an exciting trial project with Wales and West Utilities to insert 1% hydrogen into the Swindon gas network, which would reduce fossil fuel derived gas content.

“The Government has sent out a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. Working with industry, we are aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for use across the economy. This level of hydrogen production could be equivalent to the amount of gas consumed by over 3 million households in the UK each year. 

“It is great that here in Swindon we are leading the way with this green initiative at the new Advanced Biofuel Solutions Plant, whilst creating new jobs here in the town.”

Justin Tomlinson, Member of Parliament for North Swindon, said: “With the UK hydrogen strategy published this summer, I am pleased to see the momentum building behind hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

“For several years, hydrogen has been a key strategic priority for Swindon and Wiltshire - not only providing routes towards lowering green-house gas emissions and meeting our environmental targets, but also creating high-skilled jobs to help our economy grow.”

A hydrogen car is currently making its way around the country, visiting multiple ground-breaking projects along its route, to drive greater sustainable energy conversations among the local community, regional industries and political stakeholders.