Will the Cabinet Secretary be recommending to KeolisAmey that it procure hydrogen-powered trains, since they give zero-emissions at the point of use whilst negating the need for the installation of expensive pylons necessary for electrification?
As I stated during our debate in plenary on 27 June 2018 the option of hydrogen technology was explored with bidders for the Wales and borders rail service during the procurement process.
The Welsh Government is outcome specific in our commitment to moving to a decarbonised transport sector in Wales. However, we are technology neutral on the role of different fuels and technologies in achieving this aim, including the role of hydrogen. Whilst the current trend is towards hybrid and electric vehicles, we recognise the growing interest in hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell propulsion, which we are already supporting. A dedicated innovation fund and associated processes will ensure that developments in this area will continue to be monitored and discussed with Transport for Wales and we will continue to look for innovation on the network in the future.
Our recently announced plans for a Global Centre of Rail Excellence in Wales include provision for hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and the test, trial and validation of new and emerging power systems for the rail industry to include hydrogen.
All new trains on the core valleys lines will be powered by 100% renewable energy. Stations will be powered 100% by renewable energy, at least 50% of which will be sourced in Wales.