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Scotland | North East Network & Industrial Cluster Development

image credit: SGN
Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader Charley Rattan Associates

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

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  • Nov 19, 2021
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The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Act 2019 commits Scotland to ‘net-zero’ emissions of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2045, which means that any residual GHG will need to be balanced by activities that take CO2 out of the atmosphere. This is likely to require carbon capture and storage (CCS) on all major emitters, and the conversion of fossil fuel systems to hydrogen is likely to play a major part in reducing emissions from sectors such as domestic heating and transport.

The Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy1 published in 2017 sets a target of 50% of the energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to come from renewable sources by 2030. It recognises the important role that hydrogen could play in meeting this and future targets. Additionally, hydrogen can be deployed to reach the Scottish Government’s target to decarbonise the heat demand of one million homes by 2030 as part of the government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy2 which outlines the steps required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland’s homes. Scotland is excellently placed to pursue an energy transition programme which would see existing hydrocarbon infrastructure repurposed to facilitate a change to low and zero carbon energy. Scotland’s abundant renewable energy resources (which include ~25% of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal resource) along with well-developed onshore and offshore oil and gas infrastructure, and presence of offshore geological stores for carbon sequestration, lend themselves well to SGN’s proposed gas network reconfiguration concept.

The concept proposed by SGN would allow existing natural gas infrastructure to be repurposed to provide customers with new utility services that would result in SGN playing a major role in achieving the Scottish Government’s 2045 net-zero target. Switching a large proportion of all gas grid users to low carbon hydrogen would provide a substantial contribution to meeting Scotland’s ambitious 2030 and 2045 climate targets. Wood was appointed by SGN to provide consultancy services for the North East Network & Industrial Cluster Development project (the Project).

This constitutes a feasibility study of the Project Area as demarcated in Figure 1-1 and investigating the potential to reconfigure SGN’s gas distribution network in the north east and east coast of Scotland, to separately transport hydrogen to end users and captured carbon dioxide (CO2) to geological stores. The extent of the Project Area offers a significant opportunity for substantial decarbonisation of Scottish industry and commercial and domestic heat demand. The proposed reconfiguration solution caters for expansion of hydrogen into new markets in transport and exports. 

 

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