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News and Updates

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
Scottish Government releases new Climate Change Plan for 2018-32

The new Climate Change Plan, along with the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, will provide the strategic framework for delivering the transition to a low carbon Scotland.

Building on previous reports on policies and proposals, the Climate Change Plan sets out the path to a low carbon economy while helping to deliver sustainable economic growth and secure the wider benefits to a greener, fairer and healthier Scotland in 2032. This Climate Plan includes policies and proposals to reduce emissions from electricity generation, buildings (both residential and non-residential), transport, and industry.

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Nigel Holmes
The Royal Society releases policy briefing on Low Carbon Hydrogen Production

The Royal Society has released a Policy Briefing on the ‘Options for producing low-carbon hydrogen at scale’.  Low-carbon hydrogen has the potential to play a significant role in tackling climate change and poor air quality. The policy briefing considers how hydrogen could be produced at a useful scale to power vehicles, heat homes and supply industrial processes.

This paper focuses on arguably the most challenging barrier to the hydrogen economy – producing hydrogen at a range of scales with little or no carbon emissions at acceptable cost. To achieve this, existing technologies need to be decarbonised and new technologies need to be developed.

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Nigel Holmes
First Scottish Government 'Future of Energy in Scotland' Strategy Released

Scotland's first Energy Strategy ‘The Future of Energy in Scotland’ was released on 20th December 2017, and sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for the future energy system in Scotland. This new Energy Strategy will guide the Scottish Government’s decisions on energy over the years ahead. The new Energy Strategy includes specific references to local energy system projects in the Orkney Islands such as the European-funded ‘BIG HIT’ project which is producing ‘green hydrogen’ from renewable sources for transport and heating.

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Official opening of Surf 'n' Turf hydrogen project in Orkney Islands

The official launchof the Surf 'n' Turf hydrogen project took place on 27th September in Kirkwall, the Orkney Islands. 70 guests travelled from across the UK and Europe to attend the launch and view the installations at Kirkwall Pier and on the island of Eday. Surf ‘n’ Turf is a pioneering project that uses hydrogen generated from the tidal and wind energy to overcome the electricity grid limitations in Eday, and make better use of renewable energy sources.

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Nigel Holmes
Met Office releases 3rd annual State of the UK Climate report

The UK Met Office 3rd annual State of the UK Climate report was released on 27 July 2017, showing 2016 was the 13th warmest year based on records dating back to 1910. This report provides a summary of the UK weather and climate through the calendar year 2016 and is the third annual ‘State of the UK climate’ produced by the Met Office.

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Nigel Holmes
Global Greenhouse Gas Index up 40 percent since 1990

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, which tracks the warming influence of long-lived greenhouse gases. This index has increased by 40 percent from 1990 to 2016 — with most of that attributable to rising carbon dioxide levels.

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Nigel Holmes
21 April 2017 is UK's First 'Coal-Free Power' Day since 1882

The rest of the UK is gradually catching up with the Orkney Islands use of renewable energy.

National Grid has announced that on Friday 21 April 2017 Britain achieved 24 hours without using coal-fired power stations for the first time in 135 years. This is a new milestone for the UK’s energy system transition to low carbon and renewable energy sources. 

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Nigel Holmes
Scottish Government releases new 'Whole System' Draft Energy Strategy

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.

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Publication Of 'Hydrogen & Fuel Cells: Opportunities For Growth - A Roadmap For The UK'

This new Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Roadmap provides an overarching industrial strategy for hydrogen and fuel cells to play a greater role in the UK’s energy mix. This report ‘Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: Opportunities for Growth: A Roadmap for the UK’ finds that the UK is already among world leaders in developing hydrogen energy and fuel cells. The Roadmap provides an overarching industrial strategy for hydrogen and fuel cells to play a greater role in the UK’s energy mix.

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Dean Boyce
UK Ratifies The Paris Agreement

Against the backdrop of international climate negotiations in Marrakesh, the Paris Agreement has been ratified by the UK. The UK Government played a major role when the world came together last year in Paris to reach the ambitious deal to reduce global CO2 emissions. Less than a year later, the landmark Agreement has entered into force and has been ratified by the UK as a sign of the continued commitment to climate action across the world.

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Dean Boyce