Aberdeen is to develop plans to become a global “Hydrogen Hub” – a centre of excellence for the revolutionary green technology.
Last year the number of hydrogen vehicles in the city continued to rise and included successful trials of a refuse lorry and road sweeper.
The Kittybrewster refuelling station – used by the city’s fleet of hydrogen buses – was opened to the public.
A raft of plans for 2019 have been approved by Aberdeen City Council’s City Growth and Resources Committee to build on these successes.
Committee convener Councillor Douglas Lumsden said: “Aberdeen’s entrepreneurial and technological leadership in oil and gas is being extended to renewable energies, including hydrogen.
“The city’s first hydrogen supply chain event drew 150 attendees from a wide spectrum of industries. We have welcomed engineers, academics and investors from Japan, Taiwan, Norway, the USA and New Zealand, with recent inquiries coming from India and China.
“The programme we have approved for 2019 will allow us to further develop the low-carbon technology and demonstrate real-world applications, which will also support delivery of the Council’s own Local Outcome Improvement Plan.”
Aberdeen could host a Scottish Gas Network (SGN) Hydrogen 100 pilot project – 300 new houses with hydrogen-powered heating. As part of the 2019 Delivery Plan, the feasibility of scaling up production to supply energy to homes as well as transport is being explored by Council officers.
The number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is to rise again this year, with 17 Toyota Mirais and four Renault Kangoos being added to local authority fleets in the North-east, and another road sweeper arriving in the city.
Early 2020 will see the arrival of the new JIVE project buses and up to 10 buses from Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Two retrofitted diesel/hydrogen Transit vans have been gifted to North East Scotland College by the City Council as learning vehicles for the development of a technical training course.
Other key developments include the formation of an external strategy group comprising key public and private sector organisations, including Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and Opportunity North East (ONE).
Meanwhile, H2Aberdeen and Invest Aberdeen are continuing to work with the Department of International Trade to promote the hydrogen sector in Aberdeen as one of eight energy investment opportunities within the UK on a global platform.
Councillor Lumsden said: “The Aberdeen City Region Hydrogen Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2025 maps out the steps for a hydrogen economy in the region.
“Aberdeen City Council and our partners believe in a cleaner, greener more sustainable future, and our commitment to pioneering technology is something the world can profit from.”