New consortium set up for zero-emission aviation

10 February 2023
Six international businesses have launched a new consortium to bring zero-emission aviation to life in New Zealand. The Hydrogen Consortium’s vision is to support the country to pioneer the commercial deployment of green hydrogen-powered aircraft.

The partners are international aerospace leader Airbus, global green energy company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), leading world airline Air New Zealand, next generation energy company Hiringa Energy, liquid hydrogen solution pioneers Fabrum and New Zealand’s Christchurch Airport.

The Hydrogen Consortium was launched at Christchurch Airport, which is developing a 400-hectare renewable energy precinct called Kōwhai Park. Speaking at the launch, Christchurch Airport chief executive Justin Watson said climate change has further strengthened the international aviation sector’s resolve to decarbonise.

“Major progress is being made,” Watson says. “There have been successful test flights of zero emission aircraft already. There are new sustainable aviation fuels that can cut emissions by up to 80% and a huge amount of research is going into how to commercialise these solutions.

“The Hydrogen Consortium will see some of the world’s best experts collaborate on one of the most promising zero emission fuels – green hydrogen.” Airbus is working to develop and put into service the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial passenger aircraft by 2035.

In close cooperation with its partners, Airbus will factor in aviation’s requirement for hydrogen in New Zealand. Using its hydrogen hubs at airports concept, Airbus will engage with aviation and non-aviation players to perform a complete assessment of energy supply needs to enable the operation of hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Airbus’ Vice President of the ZEROe Ecosystem Karine Guenan says the journey to sustainable aviation requires an entire ecosystem to be put into place – one that will involve key players from a variety of sectors. “The consortium we are building brings together a number of pioneering partners with a common interest: to make hydrogen-powered aviation in New Zealand a reality.”

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Source: Scoop