It is hoped an ambitious international collaboration project could unlock access for Scottish firms to a multi-billion pound green hydrogen market.
Launched today by Scottish Enterprise, the scheme will be led by industry from both Scotland and Germany, supported by the public sector to explore future export opportunities for Scotland’s green hydrogen.
Called ‘Scot2Ger’, the project is also backed by Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise.
It will examine the emerging and substantial German demand for zero-emission hydrogen and how it could be met by green hydrogen produced in Scotland.
A £17bn market
The German market is projected to grow rapidly over the coming years.
By 2030, it is estimated to form the majority share of a European hydrogen import market tipped to be worth about £17 billion.
The low carbon fuel has been pinpointed as a means to decarbonise a number of sectors like heavy industry, high temperature processes and long-range, heavy duty transportation.
Scottish Enterprise published a hydrogen report in August that highlighted Germany as a key potential export market for Scotland to target.
Hydrogen Action Plan
The launch of the collaboration project coincides with the Scottish Government publishing draft Hydrogen Action Plan, a five-year roadmap designed to support the burgeoning market.
It included £15 million for the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub.
Holyrood’s hydrogen assessment in 2020 found that if Scotland exported green energy to Europe, it could yield £25bn in gross value added.
That’s in addition to more than 300,000 jobs by 2045, building on Scotland’s renewable energy capacity and enabling workers to transition.
Andy McDonald, head of low carbon transition at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Global demand and export opportunities for clean hydrogen is increasing and the ‘Scot2Ger’ project will provide a full analysis of a key European market where Scotland can build on its energy expertise and transition agenda.
“The hydrogen economy is a key area of focus for Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government and we will continue to work with partners such as Scottish Power on this project and others to drive Scotland’s strengths to become a leading hydrogen nation domestically and internationally.”
Working together on the project, ScottishPower, Wood, KPMG Germany and DS Consulting will each bring their own expertise to the collaboration.
ScottishPower will be responsible for assessing renewable energy and hydrogen production capabilities in Scotland.
Meanwhile, Wood will be responsible for engineering and distribution challenges.
DS Consulting and KPMG Germany will identify customer demand and examine infrastructure and regulatory requirements.
The collaboration will aim to create a business case for an initial green hydrogen production facility in Scotland to be developed, constructed and operational in 2024.
Barry Carruthers, hydrogen director at ScottishPower said “Scotland has led the way in renewable energy and low carbon technologies. We want to build on this foundation by utilising our plentiful renewable resources to decarbonise our country and create a world-leading green hydrogen industry.
“Green hydrogen offers areas of industry and transportation that can’t be supported by electricity alone a sustainable, long-term, zero carbon energy solution. Working with our partners, and thanks to the funding secured from enterprise agencies, we want to examine the potential of exporting green hydrogen to help other countries, like Germany, and start Scotland’s journey to a thriving green hydrogen economy.”
Germany’s net zero ambitions have created a drive to import green hydrogen en masse by land and sea.
The clean fuel will support large-scale industrial and transportation demand, and satisfy customers such as the heating equipment manufacturer Viessmann.
Another potential customer for Scottish-produced hydrogen is Hydrogenious, which has developed technology that allows hydrogen to be moved around in the same way as petrol and diesel.
David Scrimgeour of DS Consulting GmbH, said “We are seeing ever-increasing demand across a range of sectors and a strong interest from German companies in sourcing green hydrogen from Scotland. Dr Sylvia Trage of KPMG Germany and I believe that, by establishing a supply chain and customer relationships now, we can create a competitive advantage for Scotland when hydrogen will be available in the future at scale produced from offshore wind in the North Sea.”