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Scottish Government releases new 'Whole System' Energy Strategy

The Scottish Government released its new draft Energy Strategy ‘The Future of Energy in Scotland’ on 24th January: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/01/3414

The Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, delivered a Ministerial Statement to the Scottish Parliament setting out key elements of draft energy strategy, boosting renewable and low-carbon energy in Scotland. The new Energy Strategy will support delivery of the third draft climate change plan, released on 19th January, which targets a 66 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2032.

In his statement the Minister included the opportunity for use of hydrogen as a zero carbon fuel at point of use which can integrate heat, power, and transport. He referred to Aberdeen’s EU supported bus project, with the largest fleet of hydrogen buses in Europe, and also mentioned the Levenmouth Community Energy project working with Fife Council on deployment of hydrogen refuse collection vehicles and van fleet.

This draft Scottish Energy Strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for the future energy system in Scotland, to 2050. It articulates the priorities for an integrated system-wide approach that considers both the use and the supply of energy for heat, power and transport. The draft Energy Strategy makes clear reference to the role of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in enabling the transition to a whole energy system approach, and specifically mentions:

·         At point of use hydrogen is a zero emissions fuel, and by 2050 could be a major component of the UK’s energy system.

·         The versatility and flexibility of hydrogen gas and hydrogen fuel cells offers the potential to provide a range of services to the energy system and to integrate low carbon solutions across the heat, power and transport sectors.

·         Fuel cells could enable the more efficient use of natural gas, through combined heat and power (CHP) applications at a range of scales. Fuel cells using natural gas can be modified to operate using hydrogen at a later date.

·         The Scottish Government has supported a number of projects which demonstrate how hydrogen produced from renewable sources via electrolysis can be produced, stored, and used when required for local energy and transport. There is significant potential for these projects to be replicated or scaled-up in the future. Hydrogen may have the potential to deliver the lowest cost and least disruptive solution for the decarbonisation of heat.

 

The Scottish Government is now inviting responses to the consultation on the draft Energy Strategy by 30th May 2017. They are seeking views on the vision for our future energy system and how to achieve this: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/draft-energy-strategy/