Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Policy Statement

The Scottish Government has today released their Hydrogen Policy Statement, confirming hydrogen a key element of Scotland’s decarbonisation plan as indicated in last week’s Climate Plan Update. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the emerging hydrogen sector in Scotland and maximising the ‘new-industry’ benefits from the production of hydrogen. Today’s policy statement describes the roles that hydrogen could play in Scotland’s energy transition, and the scale of economic growth and jobs which can be created as part of delivering key targets for hydrogen:

  • Production of 5GW renewable and low-carbon hydrogen in Scotland by 2030
  • Capacity for 25GW of electrolysis by 2045, producing 126TWh per year of green hydrogen
  • 32TWh of green hydrogen to deliver Scotland’s deep decarbonisation targets and 94TWh for export by 2045

In 2021 the Scottish Government will publish the Hydrogen Action Plan, setting out the actions needed to implement these hydrogen policies. The Scottish Government policies will be focussed on support for the development of a low-cost hydrogen capability to meet an initial target of generating 5GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030. The Hydrogen Action Plan will be accompanied by £100 million of funding to boost excellence in research, innovation development and demonstration of secure, low-cost clean hydrogen production between 2021 and 2026.

This Hydrogen Policy statement has been informed by the Scottish Hydrogen Assessment, which was led by SHFCA member Arup on behalf of the Scottish Government. The Hydrogen Assessment examines how applications of hydrogen-based technologies in transport, industry, heat and whole system approaches can best be deployed in Scotland. It establishes how hydrogen can be cost-effectively produced, purposed, regulated and integrated into our energy systems. The analysis shows that Scotland could produce enough hydrogen to meet both local demand and to support an export market to Europe.

Economic impact scenarios developed by SHFCA member E4tech as part of this Hydrogen Assessment illustrate the potential scale of benefits from developing Scotland’s hydrogen economy. The most ambitious scenario envisages that by 2045 Scotland could become a major exporter of green hydrogen to Europe, resulting in a £25 billion annual gross contribution to Scotland’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and supporting over 300,000 jobs.

Scotland’s Export Potential for Offshore Wind & Green Hydrogen

The Scottish Offshore Wind to Green Hydrogen Opportunity Assessment was commissioned by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a consortium of industrial partners led by SHFCA member EMEC. In the course of the study, a supply chain survey was conducted and a database has been developed of Scottish companies who are active in the green hydrogen sector. This report provides an initial assessment of Scotland’s opportunity to produce green hydrogen from offshore wind. Scotland’s hydrogen economy will be achieved by unlocking Scotland’s vast offshore wind potential. Scotland has in abundance all the raw ingredients necessary for the production of low-cost, clean hydrogen and a reputation for excellence in energy.

Scotland has established a strong track record for advancing hydrogen technologies and demonstrating its production and use in island and mainland projects. Scotland is also renowned globally for innovation in offshore wind, including the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, ‘Hywind Scotland’, with a strong pipeline of planned projects to come. With 1 GW of installed capacity, rising to 11 GW by 2030, and rapidly decreasing costs, Scotland’s offshore wind sector is forecast to grow significantly as Scotland and the UK progress towards meeting decarbonisation targets. This adds to Scotland’s already significant onshore wind capacity of 8.4 GW which could also be deployed to generate clean hydrogen.

Also released today is a report on the Deep Decarbonisation Pathways for Scottish Industries. This report is a research piece carried out by SHFCA member Element Energy on behalf of the Scottish Government. It outlines the potential pathways for decarbonisation of Scottish Industries. The primary focus of this research is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of various different routes to decarbonising industry in Scotland. Two main pathways are considered, hydrogen and electrification, with both resulting in similar costs and levels of carbon reduction.

Scotland’s Hydrogen Supply, Infrastructure, & Demand = Hydrogen Nation

The vision is for Scotland to become a leading Hydrogen Nation in the production of reliable, competitive, sustainable hydrogen. This will secure Scotland’s future as a centre of international excellence, underpinned by the innovation, skills and supply chain that will deliver Scotland’s energy transition. Scotland’s extensive oil and gas supply chain and strong onshore and offshore wind sectors are the key to Scotland achieving a just transition to a low carbon and then net-zero age. Scotland has an estimated 25% of all the wind resource in Europe, due to our location and climate, and one of the largest concentrations of offshore engineering expertise in the world.

Today’s Hydrogen Policy statement and the supporting reports underlines the opportunity for Scotland to be the leading Hydrogen Nation, putting Scotland on the path to deliver Net Zero by 2045. This ambition builds on the experience and lessons learned with projects in Aberdeen, Fife, Orkney, and the Western Isles. Islands and ports will bring together large scale renewables and green hydrogen production. Cities, towns, and communities across Scotland will become hubs for energy innovation using hydrogen. Together with decarbonised industry and manufacturing this can deliver £25 billion annually to Scotland’s Gross Value Added and over 300,000 jobs supported by 2045 as part of a Just Transition for all.

Scottish Hydrogen Policy Statement:

Scottish Hydrogen Assessment Report:

Scottish Offshore Wind to Green Hydrogen Opportunity Assessment:

Scottish Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Report: