Aberdeen has a vision to be a world leading hydrogen city and develop Scotland's first commercially scalable, investable, hydrogen production and distribution facility, making use of the region's renewable resources to provide a truly 'green' fuel supply. By kick starting the growth of the hydrogen sector initially for transport, the hub would scale over time to provide hydrogen for heat, industry and export.
On 3 February 2022 the council partnered with bp to deliver the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub (AHH).
The Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub concept came about after Aberdeen City Council, in partnership with Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE), appointed Element Energy in 2019 to review the business case for the hydrogen sector in Aberdeen following successful pilot projects including the Aberdeen hydrogen bus project and council fleet deployment.
The report concluded that collating hydrogen demand across fleets, increasing production and supply of green hydrogen by connecting to large scale renewable generators, and coordinating supply chain and training could lower the price of hydrogen and catalyse use by other growth sectors seeking to decarbonise (heat, industry, maritime, rail etc).This would then create significant economic opportunities as part of an energy transition in the North East, unlock new economic opportunities worth upwards of £700m gross value added to Scotland’s economy by 2030, as well as thousands of high-value jobs in Aberdeen and the surrounding area. This concept of a commercial hydrogen production, storage and distribution facility in Aberdeen powered by renewable energy, with associated training and supply chain support to facilitate uptake by fleet, heat, industry, export etc. has become known as the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub (AHH). The AHH will be developed in three phases in response to growing demands for hydrogen:
- Phase 1: Initial production for public sector consumption including the provision of a resilient, cost-effective supply of hydrogen on a commercial basis to the market to support both existing and proposed transport projects.
- Phase 2: Expansion in the short to medium term to connect to larger volume utilisation of hydrogen - rail, trucks and marine use.
- Phase 3: Hydrogen for heat and export. A whole-system approach to supply and demand. Innovation, skills and transition hub to support expansion of the local supply chain. Pursue the ambition for Aberdeen to be the centre of a new energy production business, exporting hydrogen to the world. Recent ScotWind announcements may support the future delivery of phase 3.
In June 2020, the Hydrogen Hub concept was adopted into the City Council’s Energy Transition and Strategic Infrastructure Plans as part of a net zero vision. The vison for the AHH aligns with the UK Government’s recent UK Hydrogen Strategy publication which sets out the approach to develop a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK with an ambition to generate 5GW of renewable and low carbon hydrogen by 2030 and the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Policy Statement and Draft Hydrogen Action Plan, which both pitch Scotland to become a leading hydrogen nation in the production of reliable, competitive, sustainable hydrogen.