13. Hydrogen and CCUS
Throughout 2020, the Scottish Government has been widely consulting with stakeholders as we work through our Hydrogen Assessment Project – a high level assessment of hydrogen and its potential to help decarbonise our energy system. This hydrogen assessment is providing a strong evidence base to inform the development of a Hydrogen Policy Statement and Hydrogen Action Plan as was set out in our Programme for Government.
The overarching aim of the Hydrogen Action Plan is to secure a structured, methodical approach to our development of a hydrogen economy, to optimise policy performance, and to make the best of the opportunities the global growth of hydrogen can bring to Scotland in the supply chain, skills, just transition and export markets going forward.
Scotland has a track record of supporting hydrogen innovation and demonstration projects and we are committed to continuing this. For example, the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub with its initial focus on hydrogen mobility projects in Aberdeen could, alongside other key projects, anchor the development of a place-based hydrogen industry in the North East and support the development of hydrogen projects in other parts of Scotland. Our funding of the hydrogen bus fleet in Aberdeen continues to bear fruit with the funding of 15 new hydrogen double-decker buses in 2020.
The £10m Hydrogen Demonstration Programme announced in this year’s budget highlights the need to boost the scale and pace of growth in decarbonising homes and buildings in Scotland. This fund will support hydrogen demonstrator projects and bring forward key projects such as Scottish Gas Network’s H100 project in Fife which received £6.9m from the fund this year (2020).
Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)
The Scottish Government is already supporting efforts to deploy Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in Scotland. We have provided support and funding to the Acorn CCS project to drive forward the project’s feasibility programme. A standalone industrial CCS project, Acorn will engineer a minimum viable full-chain CCS project to initiate CCS in the UK. The project, located in the North East of Scotland at St. Fergus, near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, is estimated to be operational by the mid-2020s, and considered the most advanced CCS project in the UK.
The Scottish Government is also providing funding to North East Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (NECCUS), an industry-led alliance drawn from industry, academia, membership organisations and private sector bodies to promote CCUS in Scotland. NECCUS are leading an industry consortium to produce Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR) for the industrial decarbonisation of large-scale emitters in Scotland via CCUS and hydrogen as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund CCUS Deployment and Roadmap Competition.
In order to ensure the delivery of this essential technology, the UK Government must deliver on the commitments of its CCUS Action Plan to enable the development of the first CCUS facility in the UK to be commissioned from the mid-2020s.