Scotland invests £100m in Hydrogen; aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2045

Scotland published a comprehensive Hydrogen Policy Statement; commits to powering 1.8 million homes with green hydrogen by 2030

The Scottish government has announced that it will support the development of its hydrogen industry by investing close to £100m over the next five years. The decision comes in line with the country’s ambitious plan to generate 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen energy by 2030 and hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. According to the country’s Hydrogen Policy Statement, the investment will be made via the Emerging Energies Technologies Fund worth £180m.

Economic impact research commissioned by the Scottish government has projected that the country’s hydrogen industry will be worth around £25bn a year by 2045. In a recent statement to the press, the head of Scotland’s Hydrogen and Fuel Association, Nigel Homes said that by 2045, Scotland is expected to produce 126TWh of green hydrogen every year, of which 94TWh can be exported.

Experts have tempered the Scottish government’s optimism by pointing out that while the industry’s supply chain is prepared for hydrogen development, gaps in design, manufacture and maintenance of production, storage and transportation systems must be addressed. Scott Hamilton of Xodus Group, an energy consultancy has stated that “strategic investment in hydrogen transportation and storage will be essential to unlocking the economic opportunity for Scotland… a decade of serious action is required.”

Scotland has been at the frontier of hydrogen innovation for a wide variety of applications. In October this year, Aberdeen successfully piloted hydrogen-fuelled, double-decker buses – a global first. In Fife, an offshore wind turbine is slated to power 300 homes using hydrogen by 2022. Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre is building a hydrogen-powered ferry and a 19-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft set to be operational by mid-2021 and 2023, respectively.

In a statement underscoring Scotland’s “massive potential” in the hydrogen sector, Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Hydrogen is rapidly emerging across the international community as a sustainable solution for the decarbonization of the economy and a key element of the energy transition picture.”