An ambitious new hydrogen plan for Scotland has been unveiled by ministers which is claimed could generate up to £25 billion a year and provide more than 300,000 jobs.
The blueprint envisages a sixth of the country’s power needs coming from hydrogen by 2030.
Michael Matheson, Net Zero and Energy Secretary, said: “Hydrogen could present Scotland’s greatest industrial opportunity since oil and gas was discovered in the North Sea.”
“The technology has tremendous potential to help deliver a just transition for or energy sector, realising huge economic benefits while supporting our net zero transformation.
“Scotland has vast natural resources with which we can become world leaders in renewable hydrogen production and export, while others are looking beyond their borders nations that can produce and provide hydrogen at scale.”
“Our Hydrogen Action Plan reaffirms the Scottish Government’s clear commitment to helping our hydrogen sector grow and prosper. We are open to the world and actively collaborating with international partners in order to realise the benefits of hydrogen.”
The plan is being backed with £100 million of funding to new projects in the sector from the Scottish Government, including a £90 million Green Hydrogen Fund which will open at the beginning of next year.
In the Hydrogen Action Plan, Matheson said that hydrogen could be used in parts of the economy which are difficult to electrify.
He said: “Electrification will do the heavy lifting in our march towards net zero, but there are parts of our economy and energy system that are very difficult to electrify, and hydrogen could provide a solution for sectors such as heavy-duty on and off-road transport, shipping, aviation and industrial high temperature heat.
He added that Scotland has vast renewable energy resources, and that, subject to planning and consenting decisions and finding a route to market, the country has a potential pipeline of over 40 GW of offshore wind generation projects.
“This could enable the use of surplus electrons for the creation of low-cost renewable hydrogen. This generating potential opens up new economic opportunities for our nation to become a leading producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen,” he added.
“International demand for hydrogen is growing, with Germany, the EU and the UK Government all increasing their respective hydrogen production ambitions in 2022. Countries that need hydrogen are now looking beyond their borders to nations that can produce and provide that hydrogen at scale.”