Hydrogen and fuel cells offer the potential for low carbon energy and increased energy security. A fuel cell is an electrochemical device similar to a continuously recharged battery, which generates electricity and heat by combining a fuel (such as hydrogen) with oxygen from the air. As it is possible to produce hydrogen from the electrolysis of water, using electricity from renewable energy, hydrogen has significant potential as the basis of a highly efficient energy system with low carbon dioxide emissions. Hydrogen has potential for use as a fuel for road transport, heat and power generation and for energy storage.
The Scottish Government is determined to exploit the full range of Scotland's diverse renewable energy resource and is working with industry and academia to explore the potential role for hydrogen and fuel cells in a low carbon Scotland.. Our Renewable Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Support Scheme provided grants to seven projects seeking to deploy and demonstrate renewable hydrogen and fuel cell technology. An analysis of the scheme was published in December 2009.
In January 2011 the First Minister officially opened the Hydrogen Office, a demonstration and research facility in Methil which will accelerate the development of hydrogen and fuel cells, and showcase the role energy storage can play in Scotland's low carbon economy.