Hydrogen is a relative newcomer to the renewable energy sector, but its potential to play a vital role in Scotland’s green economy is now leading the conversation in government and industry. Its proponents say that hydrogen is key to decarbonising the Scottish economy. Lindsay McQuade, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables, says hydrogen fuel will help power heavy-duty vehicles, because electrification “can only go so far”. She’s in charge of Green Hydrogen for Scotland, a project bringing together leading names in renewables to provide hydrogen fuel to councils and private companies. Buses, ferries, lorries and even trains will soon use hydrogen to transport passengers and cargo across Scotland and into the rest of the UK and Europe. McQuade says: “Making transport cleaner and greener is one of the key issues at the heart of how we can unlock net-zero and achieve the ambitious climate change targets set out at both regional and national levels over the next ten to 30 years. The project will see Glasgow – a city with some of the most ambitious climate targets in the world – introduce fleets of hydrogen-powered buses as part of its ambition to use 100 per cent green energy to fuel such vehicles by 2029. It follows Aberdeen City Council’s deployment of hydrogen fuel cell buses. Fuel cells convert energy from hydrogen into electricity, with water and heat as the only by-products. That makes them smoother and quieter as well as carbon neutral. Aberdeen’s new bus fleet has now driven one million miles and transported one million passengers. Its fuel cell fleet has doubled from ten to 20 buses and it is projected to grow to 50 vehicles. Scotland’s island communities are at the forefront of hydrogen production. On the island of Eday in Orkney, the 150 residents collectively own a 900kw wind turbine. The Surf ’n’ Turf community project supports dozens of jobs and funds vital local services, including roads and healthcare, across the archipelago.
Scotsman 2nd oct 2020 read more »