Green hydrogen from wind and solar power would fuel heavy vehicles across Scotland under what’s claimed as a “game changer” plan by major players from the renewable energy, gas and electrolyser sectors.
ScottishPower Renewables, gases giant BOC and electrolysis pioneer ITM Power hope to build a green hydrogen production centre on the outskirts of Glasgow using a 10MW electrolyser that would be among the largest yet seen in Europe.
'Green Hydrogen for Scotland', which aims to be operating commercially within two years, would supply Glasgow City Council and other heavy vehicle users, before adding production and refuelling stations across Scotland to support the country’s 2045 net-zero ambitions.
Hydrogen from renewables is seen as a key enabler of decarbonisation of heavy transport, where electrification is a tougher option than for passenger cars. Advocates of green hydrogen produced using electrolysis powered by renewables, rather than the ‘blue’ variety made using abated fossil fuels, say its widespread availability is key to ensuring the energy transition’s zero-carbon credentials.
Lindsay McQuade, CEO of Scottish Power Renewables, said: “While electrification will play a significant role in taking petrol and diesel vehicles off our roads and make an important difference for the planet, it can only go so far, and we’re doing something about that.
“Our revolutionary approach – which really will be a game-changer – fully supports the large-scale transformation needed to replace heavy diesel vehicles with cleaner, greener alternatives.”
McQuade – whose company is one of the UK’s largest onshore wind operators and owned by global renewables giant Iberdrola – added: “By working with industry leaders ITM Power and BOC to bring our collective expertise together, we will maximise the potential of this new technology to offer fleet operators and industry a packaged solution that brings all of the pieces of the jigsaw together – production, distribution, supply.”
The electrolyser proposed by ITM Power would be among the largest seen in Europe, reflecting the increasing scale of the technology as it gears up for its role in the energy transition.
ITM said the project is still subject to signing of a memorandum of understanding and it would give further details of the deployment later.