The British oil industry’s Net Zero Technology Centre has been awarded £2.12M from the Scottish government, in quest of a means to deliver commercially viable, oil-derived hydrogen.

Holyrood’s Just Transition Fund (JTF) has given the NZTC the cash to support delivery of its Hydrogen Offshore Production Project.

HOP2, scheduled over four years, will demonstrate if offshore hydrogen production and storage is feasible at a scale of 500MW to 1GW through the repurposing of existing rigs, pipes and crackers.

It will also outline what a new build project for offshore hydrogen production could deliver within the UK coastal shelf, plus what impact anchoring this emerging sector in Scotland could have on the regions’ workforces, as oil technicians re-train for more sustainable jobs.

The project builds on the NZTC-led Offshore Hydrogen Production project. It was funded as part of the 2018 BEIS Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply competition, as well as recommendations made in the ‘Technology Driving Green Energy Growth’ report, published in collaboration with the Technology Leadership Board, NZTC, and Accenture.

The report recommends an infrastructure plan should be constructed to transport, transmit, store and manage new energy commodities such as hydrogen, ammonia, renewable electricity and carbon dioxide, enabling existing infrastructure to be better utilised.

HOP2 goals are to:

  • Sustain direct and indirect jobs as a result of a just transition as well as enabling the creation of jobs associated with a future hydrogen economy in Scotland by 2045.
  • Harvest the wind resources further from Scottish shores, essential to deliver the 65TWh hydrogen required to achieve Net Zero by 2040. Achieved by providing a local, centralised export location for energy resource in the form of hydrogen, rather than individual wind farm developers having to install electrical cables to shore.
  • Significantly contribute towards Scotland’s 37 GW by 2045 green hydrogen export ambitions.

Myrtle Dawes, the NZTC’s solution centre director enthused: “We are delighted that NZTC’s HOP2 has been awarded funding from Scottish Government’s Just Transition Fund.

“From enabling rapid scale up of hydrogen infrastructure to leveraging North-East Scottish skills and creating new jobs, the HOP2 project will accelerate Scotland’s decarbonisation goals and put it on the map as a leader in hydrogen production, distribution and export.”

Offshore hydrogen made from polluting hydrocarbons faces competition from clean electrolysis of water, using turbine-generated power.

Examples include Vattenfall’s receipt in May of £9.3 million of UK government innovation funding, intended to build a 8MW hydrogen electrolyser for its demonstration rig in Aberdeen Bay.

Dubbed Hydrogen Turbine 1 or ‘HT1, the project aims to be the world’s first to test full integration of hydrogen production with an offshore wind turbine.


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