Scotland stimulates hydrogen economy with £100m investment


Paul Wheelhouse, the energy minister of Scotland, has announced a £100 million ($133.5 million) plan to support the country's hydrogen supply chain.

“We are the first country in the U.K. to publish a hydrogen policy statement that sets out how we can make the most of Scotland’s massive potential in this new sector,” Wheelhouse said, adding that the funds will come from the £180 million Emerging Energy Technologies Fund.

The Scottish government believes that reaching an electrolyzer capacity of 25 GW by 2050 is an achievable target. This would be enough to produce 126 TWh of green hydrogen, with 32 TWh t0 be used for domestic consumption and 94 TWh to be exported to other countries. By 2030, around 5 GW of electrolyzer capacity should be online, according to government estimates.

Most of this green hydrogen capacity is expected to be generated by both offshore and onshore wind power, which is the prevailing renewable energy source in the country.

“Scotland’s unique selling points, are its natural resources, infrastructure and skilled energy workforce which enable us to become the producer of lowest cost hydrogen in Europe by 2045,” the Scottish government said in its hydrogen policy statement.

It will publish a full hydrogen action plan next year. The first projects should emerge between 2021 and 2026. There will also be potential support for the production of blue hydrogen, which uses fuel from gas power plants, in conjunction with carbon capture. However, hydrogen is also an alternative for direct power production, which the government claimed could displace natural gas as a provider of back-up capacity and flexible power generation.

Scotland's first hydrogen hub will be developed at the port of Aberdeen. The project is being supported by the Scottish government, with £62 million coming from the Energy Transition Fund. “Islands and ports will be hubs for energy innovation, bringing together large scale renewables for green hydrogen production,” said Wheelhouse.

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