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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

North East Scotland Hydrogen Steering Committee Established to Drive Forward Regional Ambition

12 November 2021 4 minute read

A dedicated Hydrogen Steering Committee has been created to ensure the North East of Scotland capitalises on the ‘massive potential’ the region possesses in low carbon hydrogen opportunities which could create up to 30,000 jobs in the region by 2040.

North East Scotland Hydrogen Ambition (NESH2A) Steering Committee has been established with the clear aim of coordinating efforts that support the delivery of over 1GW (20%) of the UK’s low carbon hydrogen production target by 2032 and position the region to capitalise on future hydrogen export markets.

As a result of Aberdeen city’s pioneering hydrogen road transportation initiative over the last decade, the region is already at the forefront of hydrogen activity in the UK and is now extremely well placed to grow the hydrogen economy in terms of infrastructure, jobs, supply chain, skills and technology.

In its Ambition Report, published today, the Committee has identified a portfolio of low carbon hydrogen projects of significant scale that it will seek to support and accelerate to ensure the region realises the depth of the opportunity and maintains its pioneering position. It will do so through utilising long established connections across the industry, attracting investment, sharing knowledge and expertise with partners and collaborating with government and economic development agencies.

The current North East Hydrogen Project Portfolio includes H2 Aberdeen, the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub, the Acorn Hydrogen Project at St Fergus, and ERM Dolphyn. Successful execution and scale up of the projects identified could deliver between 13,000 to 29,000 new jobs by 2040.

Mike Fleming, Chairman of Isol8 Group and Vice Chairman of the Net Zero Technology Centre, has agreed to chair the steering committee in an independent capacity. Other members include senior and experienced representatives from the energy transition industry, Aberdeen City Council, North East Scotland College and Scottish Enterprise.

The announcement of the new committee was made as Mike Fleming addressed the Scottish Government’s “Scotland: hydrogen nation” event hosted by Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport, Michael Matheson, at COP26.

Mr Fleming said:

“It is a privilege to Chair the North East Scotland Hydrogen Ambition Steering Committee at what is a crucial time for the development of the hydrogen economy and energy transition more broadly.

“North East Scotland is ideally placed to deliver a substantial proportion of the UK’s future low carbon hydrogen requirements as a result of a number of current and near future hydrogen projects, which combined are expected to generate in excess of 200MW in the next 5 years.

“The region has a significant opportunity to scale up hydrogen production and, in doing so, contribute to net zero and just transition targets.  

“The committee can draw upon the experience of a range of senior individuals representing both the private and public sectors who are all actively working on hydrogen projects and therefore have key insights as to what needs to be done so this region remains at the forefront of the hydrogen economy. The early support we have had from all partners to get this group off the ground is hugely appreciated and reflects a great collaborative effort.

“We have come together to accelerate coordinated action to ensure the North East capitalises on the massive hydrogen potential before us, creating tens of thousands of jobs as we do so, but we must maintain focus and momentum to realise the goal.”

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport, Michael Matheson said:

“Scotland has the resources, the people and the ambition to become a world leader in hydrogen production and our Hydrogen Action Plan, published today, sets out how we will work collaboratively with the energy sector to drive progress over the next five years.

“Renewable and low carbon Hydrogen have an important role to play in a just transition to a net zero economy, creating good, green jobs for our highly skilled workforce. The establishment of this dedicated Hydrogen Steering Committee will provide further focus on accelerating the deployment of the technology, and I look forward to working alongside the committee, and the wider sector, to deliver the tremendous potential that hydrogen holds.”

You can read more about North East Scotland Hydrogen Ambition (NESH2A) Steering Committee, including the Committee’s Ambition report, by visiting https://nesha.etzltd.com/

The Committee was formed in May 2021 and its full membership can be found below:

Name Job Title/Company Role
Mike Fleming Independent Chair
Luca Corradi Innovation Network Director, NZTC Member
Bob Drummond Chief Executive Officer, Hydrasun Member
Alan James Chief Technology Officer, Storegga Member
Martin McCormack Director CCUS & Hydrogen, ETZ Ltd Member
Gordon McIntosh Director, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) Member
Pete Smith Vice Principal Finance & Resources, NESCol Member
Fergus Tickell Industrial Clusters & Business Development Lead, SGN Energy Futures Member
Richard Sweetnam Chief Officer – City Growth, Aberdeen City Council Observer
Veronica Noone Team leader Economic Opportunities, Scottish Enterprise Observer

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