The Scottish Government published its draft Hydrogen Action Plan on 10 November 2021, which outlines a five year programme to help build the country’s hydrogen economy and deliver an ambition for the technology to provide nearly a sixth of Scotland’s energy needs by 2030.
Backed by more than £100 million of funding announced in 2020, the draft Hydrogen Action Plan sets out the strategic approach the Scottish Government will take with industry to help support Scotland in becoming a leading nation in the production of reliable, competitive and sustainable hydrogen.
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 £10 million Hydrogen Innovation Fund, to be launched in 2022 to drive technological progress and advance innovation and cost reduction within the emerging sector.
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.
Commenting on the draft Hydrogen Action plan, James Walker, EMEC’s Hydrogen Development Manager, said:
“EMEC welcomes the publication of the Scottish Government’s draft hydrogen action plan. It is encouraging to see support for the development of regional hydrogen hubs such as Orkney, alongside recognition from the government that our islands have unique opportunities in leveraging abundant renewable energy resources to support the scale up of hydrogen supply. At EMEC we are particularly pleased to see the Scottish Government acknowledge the role for ‘learning by doing’ to drive progress through collaborative research, development and innovation projects. We also welcome commitments to review regulatory and consenting barriers, build skills in the workforce, and develop vital supply chain capabilities.
“The action plan rightly places emphasis on working with international partners to seize opportunities for Scotland to play a leading role in the emergence of multinational hydrogen markets. Given the potential future hydrogen export ambitions in Orkney, work underway to better understand export opportunities will be particularly relevant for our partners.
“The action plan also specifically references delivering upon recommendations made in our recent report on fostering Franco-Scottish collaborations in floating wind and hydrogen innovation. We look forward to following with interest the government’s efforts in forging closer links between leading organisations in Scotland, France, and elsewhere, as we move forward together in the development of this exciting sector.”
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport 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 £100 million 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.”
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