Scottish Government publishes new hydrogen policy statement

Scotland’s hydrogen sector will receive £100 million over the next five years to support an ambition to generate enough renewable and low-carbon hydrogen to power the equivalent of 1.8 million homes by 2030.

Scottish Government publishes new hydrogen policy statement

Economic impact research suggests the industry has the potential to be worth up to £25 billion a year to the Scottish economy by 2045.

Publishing the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Policy Statement, along with accompanying research Scottish Hydrogen Assessment ReportScottish Offshore Wind to Green Hydrogen Opportunity Assessment and Deep Decarbonisation Pathways for Scottish Industries Study, Scotland’s energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the funding will help Scotland make the most of its “massive potential” in this new sector.

He added: “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 £100m 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.”

Chief executive of the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Nigel Holmes, 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.”

Scottish Enterprise procured and managed the Scottish Offshore Wind to Green Hydrogen Opportunity Assessment and supported the Hydrogen Assessment Project.

Arup’s energy advisory team, led by Scottish energy leader, Clare Lavelle, produced the Scottish Hydrogen Assessment Report as supporting evidence.

Ms Lavelle said: “With the Conference of Parties (COP) being held in Glasgow next year, the eyes of the world will be on Scotland and closely following its progress on tackling climate change. Hydrogen will play a crucial role in helping Scotland decarbonise, but the country needs to urgently capitalise on the opportunity in front of it.

“Targeted investment in hydrogen now, will help Scotland to realise a secure, flexible, cost effective and low carbon energy network, at the same time as supporting a green economic recovery from the COVID-19 downturn.”

Helen Melone, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “We welcome the publication of the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Assessment and Hydrogen Policy Statement and their recognition that green hydrogen produced from renewable energy is the future.

“With 25% of Europe’s wind resource Scotland has the potential to become a global leader in green hydrogen, delivering 310,000 jobs and £25 billion of GVA by 2045.

“The Scottish Government has committed to working in partnership with industry to maximise the economic and environmental benefits which hydrogen can deliver on the road to net-zero. Scotland’s renewable energy industry, and in particular its offshore and onshore wind sectors, look forward to delivering green hydrogen as part of the just energy transition we must make to tackle the carbon emissions which cause climate change.”

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