£100m fund unveiled to make Scotland a leading hydrogen producer

£100m fund unveiled to make Scotland a leading hydrogen producer

Michael Matheson

A five-year plan backed by more than £100 million of funding to help build Scotland’s hydrogen economy has been published by the Scottish Government.

The draft Hydrogen Action Plan sets out the strategic approach the Scottish Government will take with industry to help make Scotland become a leading nation in the production of reliable, competitive and sustainable hydrogen.

It is hoped that the plan will help Scotland develop hydrogen technology with enough power to provide nearly a sixth of Scotland’s energy needs by 2030.

The five-year capital investment programme will focus on supporting regional renewable hydrogen production hubs and renewable hydrogen projects. The first tranche of investment will be a £10m Hydrogen Innovation Fund, to be launched next year to drive technological progress and advance innovation and cost reduction within the emerging sector.

Separately, the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Fund is being expanded to up to £75m to deliver £15m of investment in an Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub which will develop on-the-ground infrastructure to support the growth of a hydrogen transport fleet and the deployment of new applications across the north east.

Additional investment will be made to support the continuing advancement of the technology, including £100,000 to support collaborative industry-academia projects through the Energy Technology Partnership, £150,000 for German-Scottish hydrogen research collaboration, and public and private sector joint funding for a study to explore options for the export of hydrogen from Scotland to Germany.

Michael Matheson, net-zero & energy secretary, said: “Hydrogen has an important role to play in our journey to a net zero economy, by supporting the bold, urgent action required to deliver cleaner, greener energy and also by supporting a just transition – creating good, green jobs for our highly skilled workforce.

“Scotland has the resources, the people and the ambition to become a world leader in hydrogen production and our Hydrogen Action Plan sets out how we will work collaboratively with the energy sector to drive progress over the next five years.

“Both renewable and low-carbon hydrogen will play an increasingly important role in Scotland’s energy transition. Our priorities are to get as much renewable hydrogen into the energy system as quickly as possible while supporting the establishment of low-carbon hydrogen production at scale in the 2020s, linked to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

“The Scottish Government is fully committed to helping the hydrogen sector develop and grow. We are investing £100m in renewable hydrogen projects over this parliament and, in addition to this, I am pleased to announce the expansion of our Energy Transition Fund to support the development of a Hydrogen Hub in Aberdeen and help the region be at the forefront of the energy sector’s net-zero transformation.”

Helen Melone, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “We are pleased to see the publication today of the Scottish Government’s draft Hydrogen Action Plan, which sets out the necessary steps that will need to be taken over the next five years to develop Scotland’s emerging hydrogen economy. We are delighted to see the strong emphasis on the export potential of hydrogen, and that a strong hydrogen sector in Scotland could support up to 300,000 jobs across all skill levels by 2045. It is also encouraging to see that the £100m funding announced is targeted at renewable hydrogen projects.

“Scotland is in a unique position as it has an abundance of renewable onshore and offshore wind resource that can be harnessed to produce green hydrogen and supply both Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“This announcement today sets out strong support and direction for Scottish industry considering moving into the hydrogen arena. We welcome it and look forward to the publication of the full plan.”

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