A five-year plan to help build Scotland’s hydrogen economy and deliver an ambition for the technology to provide nearly a sixth of Scotland’s energy needs by 2030 has been published.
Backed by more than £100 million of funding, the draft Hydrogen Action Plan sets out the strategic approach the Scottish Government will take with industry to help make Scotland become 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 next year to drive technological progress and advance innovation and cost reduction within the emerging sector.
Separately, the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Fund is being expanded to up to £75 million to deliver £15 million of investment in an Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub which will develop on-the-ground infrastructure to support the growth of a hydrogen transport fleet and the deployment of new applications across the north east.
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.
Net Zero & Energy Secretary Michael Matheson 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.”
The consultation on the draft Hydrogen Action Plan will run until 19 January 2022.
A £100 million, five-year funding commitment was announced in December 2020 alongside the publication of the Hydrogen Policy Statement, which sets out an ambition for 5 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable (green) and low-carbon (blue) hydrogen power within the next ten years – and 25 GW by 2045.