In 2013, the Scottish Cities Alliance commissioned leading energy consultants to carry out research into ‘Building a Hydrogen Economy Across Scottish Cities’. A Strategy was formed and out of the 12 recommendations, 4 were taken forward by the cities:
The Hydrogen Project Lead led the most ambitious pan-European project across European Cities – Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe, to commercialise hydrogen fuel cell electric buses and refuelling infrastructure in partnership with the EU Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. 2 Scottish cities are participating – Aberdeen (JIVE) and Dundee (JIVE2).
Aberdeen will be deploying 15 Wright bus fuel cell electric buses from September 2020 onwards with an additional 6 fuel cell electric buses in 2021.
Dundee will be deploying 12 Optare/Arcola Energy fuel cell electric buses in late 2021 with refuelling infrastructure to be deployed at the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc. This hydrogen refuelling infrastructure will also support Project LOCATE – powertrain test facilities – which will be based on the MSIP site.
Glasgow has set their ambitions to be the first Net Zero City in the UK with the complete decarbonisation of Glasgow’s captive fleet of circa 2,000 vehicles with heavy fleet vehicles being replaced by hydrogen fuel cell electric.
This led to the development of a prototype fuel cell refuse collection vehicle by Arcola Energy (Systems Integration company) in partnership with Farid Hillend. In addition, hydrogen refuelling infrastructure based at Glasgow City Council’s energy from waste plant in Polmadie. This is seen as a strategic site as it is near First Bus Glasgow, Transport Scotland Roads and Alsthom (trains).
In addition, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Scottish Power Renewables, BOC/Linde and ITM Power for the development of a 10MW electrolyser to be based at Scottish Power’s Whitelee Wind Farm (that largest wind farm in Europe). This can provide the refuelling infrastructure that is required across the region and support the development of other sectors such as freight, trains and ferries as the west side of the country, in particular, will not be electrified providing the opportunity for fuel cell electric technology deployments. Equally there is an opportunity on the East coast from Aberdeen up to Inverness and beyond.
In the Scottish Government’s 2019 Programme for Government there was a commitment to establish a Hydrogen Accelerator to expediate the uptake of hydrogen technologies in Scotland. The Hydrogen Accelerator was launched on 1 September 2020, led by the University of St Andrews in partnership with the University of Strathclyde to support the public/private sectors to decarbonise their various modes of transport to fuel cell electric vehicles, support product development, research, development of Scottish supply chain, inward and export opportunities.
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