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Development of early, clean hydrogen production in Scotland

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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader , Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

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  • Aug 9, 2021

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Executive Summary Clean Hydrogen in Scotland

Clean hydrogen is recognised as a key enabler of decarbonisation across numerous sectors including power generation, heating, transport, refining and manufacturing. Currently global hydrogen demand is predominantly met by the manufacture of grey hydrogen which in 2019, contributed approximately 630 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions. Global hydrogen demand in 2020 was approximately 70 million tonnes.

The Hydrogen Council estimates that demand could be as high as 558 million tonnes (22 PWh) by 2050 [1]. Clean hydrogen is considered to be either green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis of water powered by renewable electricity, or blue hydrogen, produced by steam methane reforming (SMR) or autothermal reforming (ATR) with carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS). By producing clean hydrogen which can replace high carbon fossil fuels in the aforementioned sectors, the potential to reduce emissions is significant.

Scotland, due to its location, renewable energy potential, established oil and gas industry, geological features, technical expertise, existing infrastructure and commitment to net zero by 2045, has the resources to become a global leader in the emerging clean hydrogen market.

The potential exists for Scotland to become a major producer and exporter of clean hydrogen in the next decade. Of the various studies that have been conducted into Scotland’s clean hydrogen potential, the most ambitious is The Scottish Hydrogen Assessment, which estimates that 126 TWh of clean hydrogen could be produced in Scotland, with 94 TWh exported to the European market annually by 2045 [2]. The Scottish Governments Offshore Wind Policy [3] sees the potential for 11 GW installed offshore wind capacity off the coast of Scotland by 2030.

The Scottish Wind to Green Hydrogen report by Xodus Group sees potential for an installed offshore wind capacity of 60 GW for Scotland by 2045, all of which could be utilised for the production of green hydrogen [4]. The  OREC report Offshore Wind and Hydrogen Solving the Integration Challenge estimates that up to 240GW of offshore wind could be harnessed for green hydrogen production across the UK by 2050, to supply European hydrogen demand



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