Pic: Make the Break

What a brilliant night at Re-Tech Drinks – ‘Bringing together good people in Renewables and Technology the Southwest ‘re-tech’ community’. The event did what it said on the tin.

Hosted jointly by Stu Pringle of business development specialist Make the Break, and Apollo Engineering, the evening drinks highlighted some important things.

First, the Southwest is thriving as a region for low-carbon innovators and associated engineers and technical people as well as investors and advisers, as was made clear by some inspiring speakers (all brief, in keeping with the social vibe).

Second, the global green hydrogen revolution is underway, David Hodgson, MD of TFP Hydrogen Products, told guests. His firm in Cornwall supplies specialist coatings to customers in Europe and USA and is building a facility in upstate New York.

The invasion by Russia of Ukraine has heightened the Government’s concerns around energy security and net zero, he said. The UK appears to be pursuing a majority blue-hydrogen strategy based on fossil fuels and capturing the produced carbon dioxide. How much of the 10 GW hydrogen target will be truly green is unknown. Meanwhile, rival economies are backing low-carbon hydrogen, with the landmark Inflation Reduction Act in the US investing $391 billion in energy production.

But scale is crucial in green hydrogen and the UK will only lead with major Government investment, said Mr Hodgson. “We don’t want a repeat of offshore wind, where UK waters host the turbines but it’s mostly overseas technology and we’re left to play catch-up.”

Third, as Stu said in his intro, after months of WFA and amid all the digital contact, there’s nothing like meeting people face to face!

Chris Hughes, business agility coach to big corporate names, reminded guests at 16 March the event at Bambalan that actually generating sales was vital to businesses in the green economy.

A great night.