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Blueprint for Future of Hydrogen Technologies Outlined at Aberdeen Event

18/03/16

Leading hydrogen projects were today showcased in Aberdeen – in what was the biggest event of Hydrogen Week in the UK.

Delegates from private and public sector organisations in the UK and Europe flocked to the Granite City to see what Aberdeen has to offer as a Hydrogen Transport hub.

The main topic for discussion was the future of the energy source and how it could be used to offer a wider solution to the world's energy crisis and create investment and job opportunities in Scotland.

The event also offered insight to renewable energy, transport and the different platforms for greater partnership working to establish a hydrogen economy for Scotland.

The international conference, the only one to be held in Scotland, had presentations and demonstrations from industry representatives, as well as from Scottish local authorities delivering H2 projects across the country.

Clear links were established between renewable energy and transport with use of hydrogen as a clean fuel with zero emissions at the tailpipe.

The Granite City's fleet of hydrogen buses, vans and cars were site for on show and available for test drives by delegates.

Delegates also received a tour of the UK's largest hydrogen production and bus refuelling station is also on offer.

Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing, who opened the event said: "The developing hydrogen and broader renewables industries have great promise, presenting opportunities to use Aberdeen's abundance of expertise, experience and supply opportunities in the oil and gas sector to diversify and expand into new fields.

"The past week has been an exciting one in hydrogen circles, with events across the UK marking Hydrogen Week.

"Aberdeen has had a busy time; we've celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of our hydrogen production and bus refuelling station – the biggest in the UK – and a year of operations of our fleet of hydrogen buses; we've marked another European first with the unveiling of our two new fuel cell electric vehicles as the latest addition to our car club fleet; and here we are today, showing off what Aberdeen and Scotland have achieved to date and laying out our future plans."

SHFCA chair Nigel Holmes chaired the first of two morning sessions, which had presentations from Aberdeen's lead councillor for hydrogen Barney Crockett, Barbara Whiting from Fife Council; and Jan Falconer from Orkney Islands Council.

Councillor Crockett said: "The conference today was a huge success and I would like to extend my thanks to all of the delegates across all industries and sectors who made their way to the Granite City today (18 March).

"Marking the end of Hydrogen Week in the UK, the showcase presented not just the highlights of what we have to achieved to date in Scotland, but also how we can continue to explore the exciting opportunities that our individual projects can offer to the energy industry, the transport sector and the wider public by reducing our carbon footprint.

"Aberdeen is leading the way on hydrogen in Scotland and it is fitting that we hosted this important event where we discussed our plans for the future, but also heard about the progress made in other parts of Scotland and the developing opportunities in hydrogen.

"It is becomingly increasingly clear that hydrogen is a secure fuel of the future and its potential uses are many; from powering vehicles and heating homes, to providing a clean energy storage system.

"The opportunities it presents are vast and it is essential that governments at all levels work together alongside industry to ensure those opportunities are seized upon."

"Aberdeen and other areas involved in the oil and gas sector are going through a hard time. By focusing on hydrogen now we can work on developing a new sector in the way that oil and gas developed in the 1960s and 70s and ensure Aberdeen remains a leading world energy city."

The second morning session was chaired by ULEMCO managing director Amanda Lyne, focused on hydrogen transport opportunities and included presentations from: David Yorke of Transport for London; Transport Scotland Low Carbon Vehicle Policy manager Ewan Swaffield; and Aileen Edwards of the Scottish Cities Alliance Fuel Cell Bus Commercialisation Study. Aberdeen City Council also presented on funding opportunities.

Ewan Swaffield chaired the afternoon session, which focused on deployment opportunities for low carbon transport. It included presentations from Arcola Energy, Symbio, CoWheels, Hyundai, and bus operators First and Stagecoach.

Ewan said: "Aberdeen is Scotland's flagship Hydrogen city.

"Interest in what's happening in Aberdeen at a European and global level is really quite incredible

"Transport Scotland are keen to work with Aberdeen City Council to expand its Hydrogen vehicle fleet

"It is essential as many people as possible are exposed to H2 technology and vehicles to boost uptake

"The fact that the public and business will have access to Hydrogen cars through the Co-Wheels car club is fantastic. It's sure to be a model for the future."

Aileen Edwards of the Scottish Cities Alliance said: "Hydrogen is absolutely fundamental to how we take things forward for low carbon.

"There are clear opportunities for cities to work together on a range of hydrogen projects and Hydrogen."

Aberdeen City Council hosted the event and was supported by the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA).