15 May 2023
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View.
Last week the Scottish Government announced £7 million in funding for 32 projects to drive innovation in the production, storage and distribution of renewable hydrogen.
One project to receive this funding was Green Cat Hydrogen who are based in my constituency but operate projects across Scotland.
I very much welcome this funding and the Scottish Government’s commitment of £100 million in funding over this parliamentary session to supporting the hydrogen sector.
I have been an advocate for developing renewable hydrogen here in Scotland for many years now. I currently side on the Economy and Fair Work Committee where we have strongly focused on Scotland’s just transition.
I believe hydrogen has a key part to play in that and will be huge for the Scottish economy.
The hydrogen sector has all the elements here in Scotland to help meet our net zero ambitions by 2045.
The Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition plan notes renewable hydrogen will increase significantly in Scotland by 2030.
However, the hydrogen we can produce here will not only help Scotland but has the potential to help our European counterparts decarbonise and reach their net zero ambitions. Any surplus hydrogen or electricity generated can be exported across Europe – this opens a whole new market of opportunities for us whilst also creating and supporting the current labour market in Scotland.
I am pleased that renewable hydrogen is receiving more focus and thought than a decade ago. However, Scottish businesses already operating in this sector have been operating successfully for a number of years now.
Logan Energy, also based in my constituency, has been involved in the hydrogen industry through many phases in its development and already has a deal in place to export hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for HGVs in Bavaria, Germany.
Logan Energy has also collaborated with Heriot-Watt University and PlusZero to launch a centre for green hydrogen focusing on hydrogen research and industry projects.
I believe now in Scotland we are seeing a pivotal moment in the hydrogen sector, and we are well on our way to becoming world leaders in renewable hydrogen production.