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News and Updates

IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today released their Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ The IPCC is the leading world body for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options.

This report contains many important messages about the steps which need to be taken to avoid dangerous climate change, and also key references to the role of hydrogen in meeting global climate targets.

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Nigel Holmes
HyDIME hydrogen ferry project for Orkney Islands

Innovate UK has awarded funding to develop the UK’s first hydrogen injection system for a hydrogen/diesel ferry. The consortium is led by Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited and includes the BIG HIT partners Orkney Islands Council and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

The HyDIME (Hydrogen Diesel Injection in a Marine Environment) project will design and integrate a hydrogen diesel dual fuel injection system on board a commercial ferry which will be deployed in the Orkney Islands.

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Nigel Holmes
Policy Exchange releases 'Fuelling the Future' report

The wider recognition of the role for hydrogen in decarbonising the UK energy system continues with the publication of a report by the Policy Exchange which identifies Scotland and North East England as being best placed for developing hydrogen in the near term.

Policy Exchange’s ‘Fuelling the Future’ report states that ‘Scotland and North East England offer the best opportunities for successful hydrogen production hubs, while investment in cost-effective hydrogen production technologies – such as electrolysis – would open up export opportunities and address both the Industrial and Clean Growth strategies’

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Nigel Holmes
Launch of the European Hydrogen Initiative

The Hydrogen Initiative has been launched at the Linz high-level energy conference to support the deployment of sustainable hydrogen technology for the decarbonisation of multiple sectors, the energy system and for the long-term energy security of the EU. The hydrogen industry is technologically diverse and sustainable hydrogen can be produced through electrolysis and through reformation processes that combines carbon management and abatement solutions. Delivering on Europe’s formidable decarbonisation ambitions will require having both at our disposal.

Although the Hydrogen Initiative is non-binding, it has already been signed by 25 EU countries, and calls on governments to increase research efforts, particularly into very large scale storage of hydrogen to address seasonal energy demands for heat.

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Nigel Holmes
Just Transition Commission to advise on Decarbonisation

A national taskforce to advise on how Scotland achieves a carbon-neutral economy has been launched.   The Just Transition Commission, a commitment under the Programme for Government, will look at how to maximise opportunities of decarbonisation, in terms of fair work and tackling inequalities, while delivering a sustainable and inclusive labour market.

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Nigel Holmes
IRENA report on Hydrogen from Renewable Power

A new report ‘Hydrogen from renewable power: Technology outlook for the energy transition’ has been released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This report shows Hydrogen can help meet a range of energy needs that would be difficult to address through direct electrification, making hydrogen the missing link in the global transition to a low carbon energy system.

As the world strives to cut carbon emissions, electric power from renewables has emerged as a vital energy source. Yet transport and industry will still require combustible fuels for many purposes. Such needs could be met with hydrogen, which itself can be produced using renewable power.

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Nigel Holmes
EMEC announced as a 'Top 200' world influencing project

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), based in the Orkney Islands of Scotland, has just been announced as one of the top 200 influencing world projects by the Institution of Civil Engineering. This recognises the pioneering and world-changing work that is taking place at their wave and tidal energy test sites in the Orkney Islands.

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Nigel Holmes
HYSEAS III – the World’s First Hydrogen Powered Sea-Going Car Ferry – Destination Orkney

HYSEAS III will to pave the way for the building and launch of the world’s first sea-going car and passenger ferry fuelled by hydrogen. The supported development is expected to cost around €12.6 million. The vessel’s fuel will be produced from renewable electricity marking a paradigm shift towards entirely emissions-free marine transport. The successful test will allow a vessel to be constructed, in the already assured knowledge that such a vessel can operate safely and efficiently around Scotland’s challenging coast. The vessel is planned to operate in and around Orkney, which is already producing hydrogen in volume from constrained –hence otherwise wasted – renewable energy.

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Orkney Islands to lead €11 million ITEG project to integrate tidal power, grid and hydrogen

The €11m Integrating Tidal Energy into the European Grid (ITEG) project brings together partners from across the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands to address energy-related carbon emissions in North-West Europe and tackle grid export limitations faced in remote areas such as Orkney.

The project consortium includes EMEC, Scotrenewables Tidal Power, AREVA H2Gen, the Energy Systems Catapult, Energy Valley/New Energy Coalition, University of Caen Normandy, University of Le Havre Normandy, Ghent University and the Normandy Development Agency.

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EU Commission proposes €100 billion Horizon Europe programme

The EU Commission proposed their most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet. For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing €100 billion for research and innovation. This new programme – called Horizon Europe – will build on the achievements and success of the previous Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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Nigel Holmes
Scottish Government sets new 90% GHG reduction target for 2050

Action to mitigate climate change is a key component of the Scottish Government’s aim to create a growing, sustainable and inclusive economy. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 set world-leading greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, including a target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.

The Scottish Government now intends to introduce a new Climate Change Bill with even more ambitious targets. Proposals include setting targets based on actual emissions, and increasing the 2050 target to 90% emissions reduction.

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Nigel Holmes
IEA update on Offshore Wind with Hydrogen for Decarbonisation of Industry

The International Energy Agency has released an update on ‘Renewable Energy for Industry: Offshore Wind in Northern Europe’. This note expands on the findings of the recent IEA Insight Paper on renewable energy for industry, released in November 2017.

This update note by Cédric Philibert of the IEA Renewable Energy Division explores the potential for decarbonising the European industry by replacing fossil fuels with electricity from offshore wind in Northern Europe, either directly or via hydrogen production.

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Nigel Holmes
H2FC SUPERGEN update on H&FC Supply Chain Economic Benefits

Recent economic modelling work carried out by the EPSRC funded H2FC SUPERGEN shows the economic gains which can be achieved through low carbon policies, and specifically developing supply chain activity to support refuelling of battery/hydrogen vehicles.

This paper sets out the opportunities for low emission vehicle refuelling supply chains potentially replicating the strength of domestic upstream linkages observed in the UK electricity and/or gas industries. They use input-output multiplier analysis to deconstruct and assess the structure of these supply chains relative to that of more import-intensive petrol and diesel supply.

A crucial multiplier result is that for every £1million of spending on electricity (or gas), 8 full-time equivalent jobs are supported throughout the UK. This compares to less than 3 in the case of petrol/diesel supply.

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Nigel Holmes
BIG HIT Creates Exemplar ‘Hydrogen Islands’ Energy System for Orkney

The official opening of BIG HIT brings together communities, industry, and politicians who are all working together to deploy one of Europe’s leading energy systems. BIG HIT will enable more renewable energy to be produced and used locally in the Orkney Islands of Scotland and also support similar deployments more widely. BIG HIT has been widely recognised as the leading project of its kind in Europe. BIG HIT, involving 12 participants based across six EU countries and funded by the EU FCH JU. The Orkney Islands of Scotland were chosen for this development because of the need to store excess renewable energy and utilise the stored energy locally for transport and heat.

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Nigel Holmes
IMechE releases report on Gas Grid with Hydrogen for Renewable Energy Storage

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has released a report on the use of hydrogen in the gas grid to store excess electricity from renewables.

It recommends that the UK Government and industry should boost investment in technology to promote the use of hydrogen as a way of storing energy, which would make the UK energy system greener and more efficient, and support an expansion of renewable power in the UK.

The report calls for more support for power to gas technology, which is when excess electricity on the National Grid, from either high levels renewable generation or low demand, is used to create hydrogen through electrolysis. The technology would allow the gas grid to be used to store excess electricity, in the form of hydrogen.

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Nigel Holmes
BIG HIT Project Fuels Up with ‘Green Hydrogen’ in Orkney Islands

The first refuelling of a hydrogen vehicle in the Orkney Islands has taken place using locally produced, renewable hydrogen.  The ‘Building Innovative Green Hydrogen Systems in an Isolated Territory’ (BIG HIT) project has carried out the first refuelling of the fleet of five, zero emission, Renault Kangoo vans equipped with the Symbio hydrogen range extender  at the ITM Power refuelling station in Hatston. This is a major first step towards creating a genuine hydrogen territory in the Orkney Islands.

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BIG HIT High Five for ‘Green Hydrogen’ in the Orkney Islands

BIG HIT celebrates another milestone with the handover at All-Energy of two hydrogen tube trailers from Calvera, which increases the Orkney fleet to five hydrogen tube trailers. These new trailers will transport ‘Green Hydrogen’ in the Orkney Islands from where it is produced locally using renewable energy to where it is used. This is a significant step towards creating a Hydrogen Territory in the Orkney Islands as part of the €10.9 million EU supported BIG HIT project.

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Nigel Holmes
Shell releases new 'Sky' Scenario for the Clean Energy Transition

Shell has released the Sky Scenario which illustrates a technically possible, but challenging pathway for society to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Sky builds on the previous Shell ‘Mountains’ and ‘Oceans’ scenarios and is their most optimistic scenario in terms of climate outcomes.

The Sky scenario reveals the potential for an energy system to emerge that brings modern energy to all in the world, without delivering a climate legacy that society cannot readily adapt to. The new Sky scenario includes important messages about hydrogen transport and the potential role of cities in delivering this transformation

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Nigel Holmes
Official opening of the BIG HIT project in Kirkwall on 15th May 2018

The official opening of the BIG HIT project will take place in Kirkwall on 15th May 2018. This EU funded Building Innovative Green Hydrogen Systems In Isolated Territories (BIG HIT) project will show the important links between partner regions, and the opportunities for hydrogen and fuel cells to maximise the benefits of local renewables, add value and economic impact, and deliver the energy transition to low carbon systems.

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Nigel Holmes