UK gas network company has set its plans for a hydrogen distribution network in Scotland, UK in a new roadmap researched and published with global engineering firm Wood.
The Scottish Government has a target to heat 1 million homes with low carbon energy by 2030. SGN and Wood have found that a hydrogen energy system could use existing natural gas infrastructure to decarbonise industry, transport and more than 90% of homes and businesses, as well as help to meet the government target of net zero by 2045. Angus McIntosh, SGN’s director of energy futures says that the roadmap outlines ‘practical steps’ to decarbonise Scotland, delivering powerful macroeconomic benefits.
According to the roadmap, the conversion would begin in Aberdeen, with blue hydrogen produced from natural gas at St Fergus on the northeast coast, where it would also be stored before injection into the gas grid, initially at 2% of the gas blend. The would grow initially to 20% and then to 100%, powering Aberdeen entirely by hydrogen. Conversion of homes to hydrogen would spread along the northeast coats of Scotland, then the central belt of Scotland between Glasgow and Edinburgh, where the population density is highest, before the rest of Scotland by 2045.
The roadmap includes plans for the Aberdeen Vision pipeline, which will connect St Fergus and anticipated offshore green hydrogen production to Aberdeen. SGN has now launched the preliminary engineering phase of the Aberdeen Vision pipeline. McIntosh says that this will refine the planning for the proposed pipeline.
‘By offering a significant opportunity for the substantial decarbonisation of Scottish industrial, domestic and commercial gas customers, we can pave the way for the creation of a hydrogen economy in Scotland. This would provide a route to market for hydrogen production and the use of hydrogen in other sectors such as transport and power generation,’ says McIntosh. ‘We’re looking forward to continue working with the Scottish Government in the coming months to demonstrate the role hydrogen can play in helping meet the needs of customers.’
SGN is already developing a hydrogen network in Buckhaven on Scotland’s east coast. 300 homes will be supplied with green hydrogen produced at a dedicated electrolysis plant, powered by a nearby offshore wind turbine, beginning in 2023.