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Aberdeenís Hydrogen Strategy unveiled

22/05/13

Aberdeen's plans to create a hydrogen economy in the Granite City, securing its place as a centre of excellence in hydrogen technologies were unveiled this morning.

The Right Honorable Ed Davey MP was joined by Rachel Sharp (Project Manager - HyTrEc) and  Councillor Barney Crockett. City Council leader Barney Crockett launched the hydrogen strategy framework – A Hydrogen Economy for Aberdeen City Region – at the All-Energy event at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Clr Crockett was joined by Energy Secretary Edward Davey, and renewables champion Iain Todd.

A Hydrogen Economy for Aberdeen City Region is a strategy framework to reinforce the area's position as the energy city now and in the future. With the transferable oil and gas expertise and infrastructure that the area has, along with renewables capacity, hydrogen offers an exciting opportunity to develop and diversify the energy industry, maximise the capacity and value of renewable energy and give greater energy security.

Councilllor Crockett said: "Aberdeen City Council is determined to define the image of an international 21st century energy city and to lead a leaner, cleaner industrial revolution. Hydrogen technology and transport will play a large part in that vision and the council and its partners have a strong role to play in realising that vision.

"Aberdeen is world-famous for its expertise in offshore oil and gas production. Those skills are finding root in offshore renewables. We're now adding the third component – a hydrogen economy. It's a message we will be sending out far and wide, and all will be welcome to come to play a part.

"The launch of this strategy framework is an extremely important step. This is Aberdeen laying out its aspirations and intentions for creating a hydrogen economy in Aberdeen. It is a crucial step towards Aberdeen becoming a world-leading, smart energy city. I firmly believe this document, combined with our exciting ongoing hydrogen demonstration projects will stimulate further innovative hydrogen technology initiatives and attract even more high-level investment to this city."

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: "It's great to see Aberdeen is giving hydrogen the green light. A hydrogen strategy for the city will accelerate growth in the hydrogen energy and fuel cell market. The Right Honorable Ed Davey MP with the strategy.

"Hydrogen is an increasingly important source of clean energy, offering a low carbon solution for our future energy mix. I wish Aberdeen City Council every success with their projects."

Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, said: ""The Scottish Government is pleased to support the Aberdeen Hydrogen Project, and I welcome these plans for a hydrogen strategy, which will further enhance Aberdeen's reputation for energy innovation, and support our ambition to make Scotland a world-leading destination for investment in renewable and low carbon energy."

The use of hydrogen, which can be generated from a range of renewable sources, allows the storage and use of energy to help meet society's needs for electricity, heating and transport.

Hydrogen offers a diversification opportunity for the North-east and Scotland's businesses, where our energy skills, know-how and expertise can also be applied to a hydrogen economy and development of a local supply chain.

The strategy framework presents a platform for the city to step from the £20-million Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project, which will bring Europe's largest fleet of fuel cell buses to the region next year, to other ambitious hydrogen projects. This will accelerate the development of the renewable energy sector, while offering real opportunities for economic development, reducing emissions, and leading a low carbon economy.

Hydrogen offers a diversification opportunity for the North-east and Scotland's businesses, where our energy skills, know-how and expertise can also be applied to a hydrogen economy and development of a local supply chain.

The concentration of expertise and can-do attitude to deliver this technology in the Aberdeen region will pay dividends in terms of the local economy, the local environment and energy security.

The city is keen to talk to entrepreneurs to establish new and novel demonstration applications in hydrogen technology. Ideas under development include: injection of hydrogen into the gas grid, building heating, and use in the city's district heating scheme.

Filling Up. Aberdeen is poised to reinforce its place as a world energy city now and in the future. The council and its partners are determined to create high-profile cutting-edge demonstration projects using hydrogen technology to realise the aspiration of the Granite City securing its place as a European centre of excellence.

Renewables champion Iain Todd said: "Hydrogen technology is the perfect match for renewable energy. It can store energy when there is a surplus, and then deliver it for carbon-free use across the city. It is particularly useful in transport applications, which are so reliant on fossil fuels."

A Hydrogen Economy for Aberdeen City Region is being developed in parallel with a European strategy for a hydrogen transport economy for the North Sea Region (HyTrEc), working in partnership with German, Belgian, Swedish, Norwegian, and UK experts.

HyTrEc project manager Rachel Sharp said: "Hydrogen offers exciting possibilities because it can be used to store energy from renewable sources, for use in all sorts of applications, including transport, heating and power supply. Through the HyTrEc project we are learning from our European neighbours and putting all our expertise together to help our vision for a hydrogen economy become a reality."

HyTrEc is part of the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme and is partly-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.