Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove saw Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to clean energy during a visit to one of the city’s hydrogen refuelling stations this week.
Mr Gove had previously held a conference call with Councillor Laing and fellow Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council Councillor Douglas Lumsden about the city’s ambitious plans to develop Aberdeen as a Hydrogen Hub as part of an energy transformation, which led him to request a visit to the hydrogen refuelling station.
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing welcomed Mr Gove to the hydrogen refuelling station at Kittybrewster, which is one of Europe’s busiest stations. A tour of the facility was led by BOC Operations Manager for Production and Transport in Aberdeen, Findlay MacNeill. BOC is the largest provider of industrial, medical and special gases in the UK and Ireland.
The UK’s first hydrogen production and refuelling station was opened in Aberdeen in 2015, as part of a £19million green transport demonstration project. The Aberdeen City Council-led project tested the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies and aims to drive the development of hydrogen technologies. The city now boasts two hydrogen refueling stations.
The Cabinet Office Minister heard from Councillor Laing, Councillor John Wheeler, Convener of the Operational Delivery Committee, and Councillor Philip Bell, the Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, about the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub concept and the proposed Energy Transition Zone.
The Aberdeen City Councillors highlighted how Aberdeen is at the forefront of h2 vehicle deployment in Scotland and that by increasing hydrogen demand in the region will encourage a renewable supplier into the hydrogen market on a commercial basis.
Councillor Laing said: “Aberdeen has long been recognised as a global energy hub thanks to the Oil & Gas industry and now as the world goes through an energy transition, we continue to lead the way by being at the forefront by developing green technologies and our continued innovative commitment to hydrogen.
“The skills, expertise and impact of hosting a global industry here in the city region provides a foundation and the credentials from which to respond to the transition to net zero. I have always argued that the right infrastructure is in place to support the regional economic ambition we have. The potential to develop a world leading Energy Transition Zone is an exciting development opportunity for the city, the region and beyond.”
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, said: “It was fantastic to witness first hand the potential for hydrogen to transform both how we use travel, and the economy of the North East of Scotland.
“As we move away from a reliance on oil and gas towards renewable sources of energy, it is this spirit of innovation that will cement Aberdeen’s status as an energy capital for decades to come, and the UK Government stands ready to support.”
The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker buses were due to be working in Aberdeen this summer, however their arrival has been delayed as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. The new buses come with even better technology helping to tackle air pollution in the city and continues to highlight Aberdeen an entrepreneurial and technological leader by pushing boundaries for hydrogen.
The Cabinet Minister saw that it took less than three minutes to refuel a Toyota Mirai car using 700 bar hydrogen and the newest hydrogen retrofitted vehicle in the City Council’s fleet, the HyTrEc2 hydrogen-diesel roadsweeper, with 350 bar fuel.
Image shows (left to right): Aberdeen City Councillor John Wheeler; Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove; Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing; Aberdeen City Councillor Philip Bell.
Source: Aberdeen City Council