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ScottishPower sets sights on green hydrogen revolution

21/12/2020

  • ScottishPower has created a new business division dedicated to delivering green hydrogen
  • The business is expected to contribute significantly to the UK Government’s ambition of 5GW of low carbon hydrogen by 2030
  • The news follows Iberdrola, ScottishPower’s parent company, commitment in November to install 600MW by 2025
  • First green hydrogen projects expected to be announced in 2021 focussing on decarbonising large industry, food and drink and heavy transport

ScottishPower, the UK’s only integrated energy company, has launched a new business division dedicated to delivering green hydrogen, signalling the company’s commitment to the roll-out of the low carbon technology.

Green hydrogen is produced through a process which uses energy from renewable sources to generate the electricity required to produce the hydrogen. This method of obtaining green hydrogen could save 830 million tonnes of CO2 emitted annually when this gas is produced using fossil fuels according to the International Energy Agency.

The energy company has been at the forefront of the renewables revolution for over two decades, removing all coal and thermal generation from their portfolio in 2018 to generate 100% renewable energy.

Now, ScottishPower wants to be a pioneer in green hydrogen, helping to provide a green solution to high-temperature industrial processes, food and drink and heavy transport.

Barry Carruthers, ScottishPower’s Hydrogen Director, explains more: “ScottishPower has a proven track record of exploring and investing in new, emerging technologies. We led the onshore wind revolution here in the UK over twenty years ago, we’ve been a significant innovator in offshore wind, helping to drive down the cost of the technology, and now we want to do the same for green hydrogen.

“As we move towards Net Zero, electrification will only take us about 80% - 90% of the way, what’s left is a number of sectors and industry that will require further support. Fortunately, we already have the technology to allow them to decarbonise using clean, green hydrogen. We can take our expertise and knowledge in the development and operation of renewables and apply it to the roll-out of green hydrogen in areas where electrification can’t reach.”

Iberdrola, ScottishPower’s parent company, is one of the world’s new green energy majors and a global leader in wind energy. In November, Iberdrola outlined its plans to develop 600MW of green hydrogen in mainland Europe by 2025, citing the technology as a strategic vector for industry.

Earlier this year, ScottishPower announced its role in a strategic partnership with ITM Power and BOC – a Linde company to develop green hydrogen production facilities with clusters of refuelling stations across Scotland. The partnership is targeting local authorities and others with fleets of heavy duty vehicles and is expected to supply hydrogen to the commercial market within the next two years.

The new hydrogen business will continue with this work and look to replicate its success with other partnerships over the coming years.

ScottishPower is now looking to work with a range of organisations such as distilleries, the steel industry, petrochemicals and ammonia users to support them on their journey to decarbonise. This work is expected to make a substantial contribution to the UK’s Government’s ambition to achieve 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production in 2030.

However, as with all emerging technologies, hydrogen requires the right incentive mechanism to encourage industrial companies to decarbonise.

Barry adds: “As with all new, emerging technologies, we need a mechanism from government to allow the investment needed to boost competition in green hydrogen going forward, ultimately helping to lower the cost and drive innovation in the sector.

“We’ve already seen this happen with offshore wind in the UK and we know, with the right support, green hydrogen will be another success story. We want to work with the UK and Scottish Governments and take action now to tackle the final gaps in decarbonisation and make our Net Zero ambitions achievable.”

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