As a key plan to become carbon neutral by 2045, SCOTLAND will produce ample energy from innovative green hydrogen to heat 1.8 million homes by 2030 and contribute up to £ 25 billion to the economy.
Over the next five years, the Scottish government will invest £ 100 million in the developing hydrogen industry to enable the country to become a major player in the clean hydrogen industry.
The plan also helps to kick-start a rebound from the economic downturn of Covid 19 – with estimates that by 2045 the hydrogen industry will be worth up to £ 25 billion to the Scottish economy.
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By 2030, ministers are planning to generate 5 GW of clean and low-carbon hydrogen – enough to fuel 1.8 million people.
A process called electrolysis, which uses wind turbines for generation and storage and can also be produced from surplus renewable energy, can generate green hydrogen.
Scotland has an estimated 25% of all wind energy in Europe, and by 2030 it will raise its offshore capacity to 11 GW, along with 8.4 GW of onshore wind capacity.
In Fife, SGN is hoping to create the first 100% renewable hydrogen grid in the world to power 300 homes in Levenmouth.
How electrolysis produces green hydrogen (Image: SGN).
As part of its ambition to becoming a carbon-neutral nation by 2045, the Scottish government earlier this month put forward plans for heating systems in all newly constructed homes that do not generate direct greenhouse gas emissions – paving the way for green hydrogen to be used.
A hydrogen policy statement has now been released by the Scottish government which suggests that technology could play “an important role in creating new economic opportunities in Scotland.”
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The document adds that “our entire energy system must be rapidly transformed to meet the changing needs of consumers and society.” in order for Scotland to achieve its aim of being carbon-free by 2045.
He adds, “We recognize that we cannot achieve our hydrogen ambitions alone. “Many of the necessary regulatory and legislative levers will be decided at the level of the UK. Therefore, in developing a thriving hydrogen economy, we need the UK government to partner with us.
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse points out in the paper that economic impact estimates indicate that “in the most ambitious scenario” in which Scotland establishes itself as a green hydrogen exporter to Europe, where demand already exists, “there could be a £25 billion annual gross contribution to Scottish Gross Value Added (GVA) with over 300,000 jobs supported by 2045.”
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He added: “The report suggests that this could be achieved by unlocking Scotland’s huge offshore wind potential, which would result in Scotland producing large-scale ‘green hydrogen’ that is competitive in a growing European market.”
The analysis tells us that Scotland could generate sufficient hydrogen to meet our needs, as well as help the export market to Europe. Our strategy will concentrate on encouraging low-cost hydrogen capacity growth to achieve the initial goal of 5 GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030 and at least 25 GW by 2045.
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The Scottish Government will release its Hydrogen Action Plan next year, which will set out what steps are needed to turn ambition into practice, alongside £ 100 million in investment between 2021 and 2026 for research, growth and access to clean hydrogen production.
Mr Wheelhouse added: “In the international community, hydrogen is rapidly being seen as a sustainable solution to the decarbonization of the economy and a key element of the energy transition.”
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Scotland is ready to play its full position alongside other European countries, which is why we are releasing this important policy statement today and investing £ 100 million in capital.