ROCKET fuel could be powering our buses and boilers if a councillor gets his way.

Brighton and Hove city councillor Jamie Lloyd has called for the council to set up a “hydrogen hub” to produce hydrogen fuel “cheaply and cleanly”.

The fuel is used to power spacecraft and is considered by some to be better for the environment as it does not release carbon dioxide when burned.

Hydrogen fuel can also be used to power buses and cars when combined with oxygen to make fuel cells.

Cllr Lloyd said Brighton was in an excellent position to start up a council-owned fuel factory.

“Hydrogen has huge potential as a clean fuel of the future that can power our fuel cell buses and eventually replace the natural gas we use in our domestic boilers and cookers,” the Green councillor wrote in a council motion.

“Hydrogen is therefore seen as an essential part of any future zero carbon energy mix.

“We are in an excellent position in Brighton and Hove to produce it cheaply and cleanly.

“This council has declared a climate emergency and it is time we explored the potential of developing our own municipal green energy company.”

Energy policy expert Dr Marie Claire Bribois said creating a council-owned energy company was a “great idea”.

But she said hydrogen fuel’s future was unclear as other energy sources are cheaper and easier.

And because it is mainly produced from fossil fuels, it is not as eco-friendly as other renewable energy methods.

“While there are very likely to be hydrogen opportunities in energy storage and transport, the future of hydrogen in the UK is still unclear,” the University of Sussex lecturer said.

“More ambitious scenarios for hydrogen deployment in the UK, like replacing the gas grid with a hydrogen gas grid, are relatively unlikely simply because there are much cheaper and easier options.

“Private companies are better placed to assume the financial risks associated with investing in technologies that do not yet have a clear and assured route to market.”

Dr Bribois said the city council should invest in other technologies like wind and solar power if it ever set up its own energy firm.

“A council energy company is a great idea, but it should focus on a wider range of energy issues,” she said.