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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
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