Scotland's government has made a commitment to help the development of hydrogen energy through a policy statement issued this week.

Scottish ambitions include a target of generating five gigawatts of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen power by 2030.

The statement was backed by a five-year, £100 million hydrogen-funding facility, linked to Scotland’s Emerging Energy Technologies Fund and forming part of the devolved government’s climate change initiative.

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Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the hydrogen policy statement is aimed at helping Scotland make the most of “massive potential” in the sector.

Green hydrogen potential

Scotland has “an abundance” of the raw ingredients necessary for producing low-cost hydrogen, with potential for harnessing technologies like wind, wave and tidal power to produce green hydrogen, he said.

The nation also has “one of the largest concentrations of offshore engineering expertise in the world”, Wheelhouse said.

“That’s why we’re publishing this key policy statement today and investing £100 million of Scottish Government resources to stimulate the sector and its supply chain,” he said.

Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association chief executive Nigel Holmes welcomed the Hydrogen Policy Statement. It highlights Scotland's opportunity to be the leading hydrogen nation, putting it on the right path to deliver net zero emissions by 2045, he said.

“The identified capacity of 25GW of electrolysis by 2045 will produce 126 terawatt-hours per year of green hydrogen across Scotland, with 32TWh to deliver Scotland’s net zero target and 94TWh of green hydrogen for export.”

Research underpinning the declaration includes the Scottish Offshore Wind to Green Hydrogen Opportunity Assessment, carried out by Xodus Group, an energy consultancy owned by offshore contractor Subsea 7.

Xodus conducted a supply chain survey and developed a database of Scottish companies active in the green hydrogen sector.

Modelling three hydrogen demand projections and the levelised cost of hydrogen production (LCoH), Xodus’ analysis included a long-term outlook of price competitiveness by 2032, and offered support for the view that the sector can create “significant high-value jobs to enable production over the next decade.”

Scott Hamilton, renewables division manager at Xodus Group, said, “The commitments set out in the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Policy Statement send a clear vote of confidence in the potential of green hydrogen from offshore wind."

Decade of action

Hamilton called for “a decade of serious action, including strategic investment in hydrogen transportation and storage".

“The supply chain is well positioned to support green hydrogen development, however gaps in the areas of design, manufacture and maintenance of hydrogen production, storage and transportation systems will need to be addressed," Hamilton said. "Today’s funding commitment provides a welcome catalyst for plugging the technology gaps.”

The Xodus executive also called for support for apprenticeships and re-skilling initiatives in targeted areas.

The leading UK oil and gas industry body OGUK welcomed the Scottish Government’s policy statement, but called for a sector-wide agreement.

The policy statement "recognises the critical role our industry has to play in creating a hydrogen industry, both through the expertise of our supply chain and the talents of our workforce, and in the opportunities presented by repurposing of our infrastructure," said OGUK sustainability director Mike Tholen.

"We will continue to work at pace with the Scottish government to ensure that our supply chain is supported throughout the transition, securing jobs and the energy supply, whilst supporting our energy communities,” Tholen said.