Scottish government policy unveiled on 21 December 2020 highlights the key role offshore wind will play as a source of electricity for green hydrogen
The Hydrogen Policy Statement suggests that unlocking Scotland’s vast offshore wind potential could result in it producing large-scale green hydrogen that is competitively priced in a growing European market.
The Scottish Government will allocate £100M (US$133M) to the hydrogen sector over the next five years to support a green recovery and Scotland’s transition to net zero. The policy states that Scotland is set to become a leading hydrogen nation, with an ambition to generate 5 GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030. Economic impact research suggests the industry has the potential to be worth up to £25Bn a year to the Scottish economy by 2045.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said, “We are the first country in the UK to publish a Hydrogen Policy Statement that sets out how we can make the most of Scotland’s massive potential in this new sector.
“Hydrogen is rapidly emerging across the international community as a sustainable solution for the decarbonisation of the economy and a key element of the energy transition picture. Scotland is prepared to play its full part together with other European nations – that’s why we’re publishing this key policy statement.
“Scotland has, in abundance, all the raw ingredients necessary for the production of low-cost hydrogen as well as one of the largest concentrations of offshore engineering expertise in the world that can harness renewable energy potential in technologies like wind, wave and tidal power, to produce green hydrogen.
“Indeed, Scotland is one of the best placed nations anywhere in the world to develop competitively priced hydrogen for our own economy’s needs and to generate a surplus in supply to export to other European nations with emerging demand, but insufficient supply to meet their own needs.”
In the policy document, Minister Wheelhouse said Scotland has an estimated 25% of all the wind resource in Europe. “With 1 GW of installed capacity, rising to 11 GW by 2030, and rapidly decreasing costs, our offshore wind sector is forecast to grow significantly as Scotland and the UK progress towards meeting decarbonisation targets,” he said. “This adds to our already significant onshore wind capacity of 8.4 GW which could also be deployed to generate clean hydrogen.
“We are globally renowned for innovation in offshore wind, including the world’s first floating offshore windfarm, Hywind Scotland, with a strong pipeline of planned projects to come. Scotland also has a strong track record for advancing hydrogen technologies and demonstrating its production and use in island and mainland projects.
“As a nation, we have the opportunity and capability to benefit from the transition away from fossil fuels and produce large volumes of clean hydrogen which will not only help reduce Scotland’s emissions and support meeting Scotland’s challenging greenhouse gas emissions targets but will also allow Scotland to develop a role as an exporter of hydrogen to other partner nations and to create and protect jobs and provide economic benefit for Scotland.”
Responding to publication of the policy, Xodus Group renewables division manager Scott Hamilton said, “The commitments set out in the Hydrogen Policy Statement send a clear vote of confidence in the potential of green hydrogen from offshore wind.
“It shows the potential to unlock a massive clean power generation resource, creating a clean fuel for Scottish industry and households and a valuable export commodity, supporting the supply chain and creating high-value jobs.”