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Council / SIC moves ahead in developing hydrogen as an alternative fuel

A schematic of how the energy hub might work.

SHETLAND Islands Council (SIC) has joined a number of organisations and projects to drive forward plans to establish hydrogen as a future energy source for the isles and beyond.

The council believes Shetland has the ability to produce up to 10 per cent of the UK’s demand for clean hydrogen by 2050.

The local authority is now a member of the Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA), as is Orkney Islands Council and the Western Isles council.

The SIC has also applied for membership of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, an organisation with an aim to deploy ambitious hydrogen technologies across Europe by 2030.

In addition, the council has joined NECCUS, an alliance drawn from industry, academia, membership organisations and private sector bodies to promote carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) in Scotland.

Meanwhile, the project to create an energy hub to be established near the Sullom Voe terminal has been renamed the Orion project, which stands for standing for Opportunity for Renewables Integration with Offshore Networks.

The council’s director for infrastructure services, John Smith, said that the growing demand for clean energy provides a huge opportunity for Shetland to develop an energy hub.

This would be harnessing “the plentiful local natural wind and tidal energy resources coupled with the development and adoption of new technologies such as blue and green hydrogen generation and the management of carbon emissions”, the council said in a statement.

Smith added: “In order for the energy hub project to be successful there is a need to ensure that our work has the support and help of wider organisations.

“It is very important to undertake studies to test how hydrogen can become a reliable and cost efficient means of providing clean energy.”