A new cross-sector alliance has been launched to show the benefits a thriving green hydrogen sector would bring to Scotland and across the UK.
Announced in Aberdeen, the Hydrogen Skills Partnership comprises ScottishPower, Robert Gordon University (RGU), Energy Transition Zone (ETZ), Aberdeen University and North East Scotland College (NESCOL).
Working together, the partners will assess the readiness of the UK supply chain to support green hydrogen projects and highlight the potential economic value for the domestic supply chain.
They will also demonstrate the potential for the sector to deliver green, sustainable skills and high-value jobs.
Commercial insights from the partnership’s work will support academic, public and private sectors as they look to maximise the positive impacts emerging from the growth of a green hydrogen economy.
RGU, Aberdeen University, NESCOL, ETZ and SDS are already working closely on a new programme as the ‘National Energy Skills Accelerator – NESA’, which is chaired by energy industry expert Paul de Leeuw.
The new alliance will build upon established foundations for analysing the opportunities in the green energy transition.
Professor Paul de Leeuw, director of RGU’s Energy Transition Institute and chairman of the National Energy Skills Accelerator said: “The Hydrogen Skills Partnership is a great example of how industry and academia can collaborate for the benefit of the UK. We are very proud to be playing our role to equip Scotland and the UK with the diverse energy workforce required to deliver the energy transition and a thriving hydrogen economy.”
Barry Carruthers, ScottishPower’s hydrogen director, said: “We recognise the role green hydrogen has to play in the climate emergency and we want to ensure that the UK is able to directly benefit from a thriving green hydrogen economy.
“We’re already working on a number of significant green hydrogen projects across the UK and The Hydrogen Skills Partnership will help bring together experts from industry and academia to ensure we’re able to develop a supply chain and skilled workforce who stand ready to help us make the UK one of the world leaders in green hydrogen.”
ScottishPower is currently involved in a scheme to deliver the UK’s largest green hydrogen facility at the Whitelee Windfarm, near Glasgow.
The project is being delivered with partners, including Sheffield-headquartered ITM Power, owner of the largest electrolyser manufacturing facility in the world.
Graham Cooley, chief executive of ITM Power, said: “ITM Power manufactures and promotes world-class green hydrogen solutions with a view to creating a sustainable society, free from fossil fuels, so that the next generation can breathe clean air.
“If we are to achieve this, we need to work closely with the workforce of the future to give them the skills they need to work within, and contribute towards, the future green economy.
“The Hydrogen Skills Partnership will use the green hydrogen projects being developed today, to build and secure the supply chain opportunities of tomorrow, enabling us to share those insights from the outset of the growing green hydrogen sector.”
London hydrogen technology company Arcola Energy is in the process of establishing a new manufacturing facility and team in Dundee that could support hundreds of jobs.
Supported by ScottishPower and ITM Power, the company is also delivering the Scottish Schools’ Hydrogen Challenge for COP26.
The competition is designed to educate secondary school children on the role of green hydrogen in tackling climate change and the decarbonisation of transport.
Dr Ben Todd, CEO of Arcola Energy, said: “As a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell integration for heavy-duty vehicles and transport, Arcola Energy is working with Government, academia and industry partners to develop new skills and supply chain opportunities for zero-emission vehicle powertrains.
“The Hydrogen Skills Partnership complements our work by bringing a focus to the future jobs and skills requirements for the future green hydrogen supply chain.”