Hydrogen, the future?

The role of hydrogen as an important part of a decarbonised society was the interesting subject of Fergus Tickell of SGN when speaking to a recent meeting of Largs Probus Club. Fergus explained what hydrogen was and highlighted its major benefits: that its combustion only produced water, that it can be stored in geological features, such as salt caverns, producing long term and large-scale energy storage, and that it was ideal for achieving low carbon and eventually the holy grail of green carbon.  

Fergus drew attention to the pathway the UK and Scottish Government’s had to net zero decarbonisation with the UK targeting 2050 and Scotland the more ambitious target of 2045; Scotland having the advantage of already producing more wind power (ideal for hydrogen use) than needed at home, while England had lots of salt caverns for storage. 

Fergus informed the members of projects SGN were currently working on including H2 Caledonia which combines two pre-FEED projects in Scotland’s Central Belt and Fife’s East Coast and will integrate with an ongoing Aberdeen Vision study which is aiming to show how the Aberdeen region could lead the UK in the conversion to large-scale clean hydrogen through demonstrating the commercial viability of injecting 2% hydrogen into the gas network. The two projects through H2 Caledonia will explore the development of blue and green hydrogen production across Scotland, as well as the creation of a hydrogen ecosystem.

Members questioned Fergus on the costs involved in the conversion works and the impact on consumers of heat pumps compared with gas boilers and were advised that SGN were trying to develop a whole system approach which will benefit consumers. Bernie Rafferty, in proposing a vote of thanks, recognised the importance of achieving net zero but stressed that the major beneficiaries should pay the cost, not the consumer. 

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