Comments from Bill Ireland, CEO of Logan Energy following Low Carbon Cities Conference where he presented hydrogen as a decarbonisation solution to public and private sector delegates:
“Ambitious targets to phase out the sale of new vehicles powered by fossil fuel are to be applauded but a huge step change is required to turn these dreams into reality. How far are we on the road to a low carbon future? We are barely at the end of the street.
“To be zero-emissions ready in just 14 years’ time it is essential hydrogen is considered as an integral part of the renewables energy mix.
“At present just 0.4% of vehicles are ultra-low emission, only 0.26% of buses and 0.1% of HGVs.
“In order for Scotland to be in a position to no longer rely on new fossil fuel powered vehicles by 2032, there needs to be a workable transport strategy with solutions that truly influence and support behavioural change. Not everyone has access to a driveway and therefore, currently, can’t install electric vehicle chargepoints at home. Access to public chargepoints can be inconvenient and is unlikely to be adopted by wider society.
“There need to be real alternatives which support the lives of busy people. There is no reason that renewables cannot be as convenient as fossil fuels and that powering your car should be any more difficult than currently filling the tank with petrol.
“Hydrogen can play an integral role in a convenient, workable transport renewables solution however there are subsidies for offshore wind, biofuel, electric vehicles, but nothing in place for hydrogen vehicles.
“Scotland has vast renewable resources that could create enough hydrogen to easily power personal, public and commercial transport. We have recently demonstrated the technology of generating hydrogen from renewable energy for use as a transport fuel and the Levenmouth Community Energy Project in Methil, Fife with much success and are currently working on a project developing hydrogen from seawater.
“Another area for consideration is Scotland’s train network. Plans to electrify lines are costly and disruptive. Hydrogen fuel cell trains, currently being developed in Europe, are being introduced in phases as a direct replacement for diesel trains meaning there is no disruption for passengers. The powering of ferries is another area which would benefit from hydrogen fuel cell technology.
“The way the world is powered is changing. Scotland has committed to being at the forefront of a green future. To do so, the time is now to embrace the true potential of our renewable energy mix and harness it through hydrogen.”