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Press release: Scottish Hydrogen Policy Statement published

The Scottish Government has published its Hydrogen Policy Statement [21 December 2020] declaring that the hydrogen sector will receive £100 million over the next five years to support a green recovery and Scotland’s just transition to net zero.

Scotland is set to become a leading hydrogen nation, with an ambition to generate 5 GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 – enough to power the equivalent of 1.8 million homes.

To achieve this ambitious target, the statement sets out a timeline of key activities to enable Scotland to take a pioneering role in a growing global industry. This will be followed in 2021 with the publication of a Hydrogen Action Plan setting out the necessary actions to implement the hydrogen policy positions made in the statement.

In the next 10 years, it is recognised that supporting research, innovation, development and demonstration of hydrogen technologies is vital, helping to drive technological progress as well as collaborating internationally to form partnerships across industry.

Demonstration and ‘learning by doing’ is at the core of what EMEC does as a test centre. EMEC is committed to driving the decarbonisation of our local energy system, with green hydrogen playing a key role.

Orkney has been at the forefront of delivering innovation in green hydrogen production and use, and in demonstrating the crucial role that hydrogen can play in facilitating the integration of further renewable sources of electricity in our energy systems.

The Hydrogen Policy Statement was informed by a series of assessments undertaken this year to examine Scotland’s Hydrogen potential. This included the Scottish Offshore Wind to Green Hydrogen Opportunity Assessment which was commissioned by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a consortium of industrial partners led by EMEC. The study was undertaken by Xodus Group, who delivered a report which provides an assessment of Scotland’s opportunity to produce green hydrogen from offshore wind as well as producing a new database of Scottish companies who are active in the green hydrogen sector.

Commenting on the Hydrogen Policy Statement, Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director, said:

“It is great to see this clear statement of Scotland’s intent to be a major player in hydrogen.

“We are particularly pleased to see the Scottish Government’s commitment to developing a pipeline of 5 GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production capacity in Scotland by 2030, and nurturing demonstration, development and deployment activities. This target isn’t without challenge but the current climate emergency demands this sort of bold action.

“We are keen to play our part in supporting the realisation of these ambitions and making green hydrogen based fuels mainstream.

“In the new year, we look forward to continuing to work with local, national and international partners to drive progress in the sector through further and ever more ambitious demonstration activities.”

Emitting no carbon dioxide when burnt, hydrogen can be used as an alternative to natural gas to transfer and store energy and could replace fossil fuels in industrial processes, internal combustion engines and homes. Beyond the environmental benefits of utilising hydrogen, it also presents a promising opportunity to generate economic growth and jobs in Scotland with an economic impact study suggesting the industry has the potential to be worth up to £25 billion a year to the Scottish economy by 2045.

Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“We are the first country in the UK to publish a Hydrogen Policy Statement that sets out how we can make the most of Scotland’s massive potential in this new sector. Hydrogen is rapidly emerging across the international community as a sustainable solution for the decarbonisation of the economy and a key element of the energy transition picture. Scotland is prepared to play its full part together with other European nations – that’s why we’re publishing this key policy statement today and investing £100 million of Scottish Government resources to stimulate the sector and its supply chain.

“Scotland has, in abundance, all the raw ingredients necessary for the production of low-cost hydrogen as well as one of the largest concentrations of offshore engineering expertise in the world that can harness Scotland’s renewable energy potential in technologies like wind, wave and tidal power, to produce green hydrogen. Indeed, Scotland is one of the best placed nations anywhere in the world to develop competitively priced hydrogen for our own economy’s needs and to generate a surplus in supply to export to other European nations with emerging demand, but insufficient supply to meet their own needs.

“No one fuel or technology is, by itself, the solution to climate change, but hydrogen has the potential to be a very important part of a progressive, decarbonised energy system supporting our transition to net zero in transport, heating and industrial decarbonisation. We are committed to supporting this emerging sector to deliver a transformation in how we produce, store and utilise energy and to maximising the economic benefits that the production of hydrogen can bring.”

Nigel Holmes, Chief Executive of the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, said:

“We welcome this Hydrogen Policy statement which underlines the opportunity for Scotland to be the leading hydrogen nation, and puts us on the right path to deliver net zero by 2045. This ambition builds on the experience and lessons learned with projects in Aberdeen, Fife, Orkney, and the Western Isles. Islands and ports will be hubs for energy innovation, bringing together large scale renewables for green hydrogen production.

“The identified capacity of 25GW of electrolysis by 2045 will produce 126TWh per year of green hydrogen across Scotland, with 32TWh to deliver Scotland’s net zero target and 94TWh of green hydrogen for export.”

The Hydrogen Policy Statement is published with accompanying research:

Scottish Hydrogen Assessment Report
Scottish Offshore Wind to Green Hydrogen Opportunity Assessment
Deep Decarbonisation Pathways for Scottish Industries Study

Scottish Hydrogen Policy Statement: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-government-hydrogen-policy-statement/

Source: Scottish Government








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