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COP26: Hydrogen to meet 15% of Scottish energy needs by 2030

Highlights

Builds on 2020 hydrogen policy statement

GBP100 million fund to boost low-carbon hydrogen

Scotland targets 5 GW of capacity by 2030

Scotland has launched a GBP100 million ($134 million) fund to implement its 5-GW hydrogen policy, which it said could meet 15% of the country's energy needs by 2030.

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The fund is designed to support renewable hydrogen projects in line with Scotland's policy of reaching 5 GW of installed renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, with 25 GW by 2045.

"It is our ambition for Scotland to become a leading hydrogen nation," Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow Nov. 11.

The financing includes GBP10 million of innovation funding to improve cost competitiveness and accelerate hydrogen demand, Matheson said.

The action plan seeks to address barriers to the uptake of hydrogen, such as high productions costs.

It envisages the growth of a hydrogen economy around regional hubs, and plans to support the development of the whole supply chain.

Scotland also sees the potential to become a significant exporter of hydrogen.

Matheson said the Scottish government aims to install 11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, which could help power renewable hydrogen, alongside developing blue hydrogen produced from the country's natural gas supply in conjunction with carbon capture and storage technology.

He said Scotland could produce and export the lowest-cost hydrogen in Europe at a large industrial scale.

He also said GBP15 million of funding had been dedicated to helping establish an Aberdeen hydrogen hub. This would help Aberdeen city council to move forward with investment plans for the production and use of renewable hydrogen across the region.

Calculated production costs for blue hydrogen are currently well below those for green hydrogen, but the gap is expected to narrow significantly by 2030.

S&P Global Platts assessed the cost of producing hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis in the UK (including capex) at GBP10.60/kg ($14.19/kg) Nov. 10. Blue hydrogen production by autothermal reforming was under half the price, at GBP4.10/kg (including capex, CCS and carbon).