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What role can Scotland play in the UK hydrogen economy?

6 January 2022

The Scottish Affairs Committee launches a new inquiry considering hydrogen and carbon capture in Scotland.

The UK Government’s ambitions to champion hydrogen production in its low carbon economy were expressed in the 2021 publications of the Net Zero Strategy and Hydrogen Strategy. Within these policy documents, the ambition was announced to create five gigawatts of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, and that “Scotland has a key role to play in the development of a UK hydrogen economy”, making the most of its renewable energy strengths and potential of carbon capture. The North Sea Transition Deal also outlined the importance of hydrogen, stating the opportunities for green hydrogen production.

During this inquiry, the Committee will consider both blue and green hydrogen. This will include investigating carbon capture in Scotland and will explore what further support is needed for the hydrogen sector to incorporate the gas into the UK’s energy mix. The ‘just transition’ for the oil and gas sector will also be looked at, as well as ensuring the skills are there for a hydrogen ready workforce.

Chair's comment

Scottish Affairs Committee Chair, Pete Wishart, said: 

“The Net Zero ambition and moves towards a low carbon economy presents opportunities for all corners of the UK: particularly Scotland. As we identified in our recent report on Renewable Energy in Scotland, there are endless opportunities with wind and tidal energy. We are going to look at low carbon hydrogen production, and this will mean considering the use of carbon capture to lock away carbon emissions.

“In this inquiry, we will be considering the role Scotland can play in a hydrogen economy, and how the UK Government can support a just transition for Scotland’s oil and gas sector.”   

Terms of reference

The Committee is inviting written submissions by midday on Friday 1st March. These should focus on, but not be limited to:

  • To what extent are the ambitions of the UK Hydrogen Strategy, published August 2021, adequate for Scotland?
  • What should be the focus of UK Government investment to ensure that Scottish industry, supported by Scottish research, is able to become a world leader in green hydrogen for domestic use and export?
    • Which market mechanism should be used to incentivise investment in producing low-cost green hydrogen?
    • What infrastructure, and investment in infrastructure, is needed for green hydrogen to be easily available for heavy transport and buses across the whole of Scotland?
  • What role should the oil and gas industry play in achieving a “just transition” to blue and green hydrogen in Scotland?
  • What training is required to build a hydrogen-ready workforce in Scotland? What is the long-term sustainability of the Scottish workforce for hydrogen power?

Further information

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