Zero Emission Mobility Industry Advisory Group - Hydrogen Workshop - 23 March 2021

Objectives of Workshop

To outline initial thoughts on overarching aim of LCED regarding hydrogen and summarise activities underway/planned, across LCED (see below).

Points for discussion:

  • What potential is there for greater added-value in LCEDs work on hydrogen?
  • Where/how can LCED add most value to Scotland’s hydrogen ambitions?
  • Is it sensible to think about hydrogen work separately from other fuel/charging infrastructure work?
  • Back to the beginning: thoughts on overarching aim of LCED regarding Hydrogen

ZEM IAG Hydrogen Workshop Pre-Reading Paper for Attendees (Executive Summary)

The purpose of this document is to provide Industry Advisory Group (IAG)/Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce (BDT) members with an understanding of the opportunities present, and to support the ongoing policy work, in respect of hydrogen for road transport. This document provides the background and context for the use of hydrogen as means to decarbonise road transport, and also an overview of its potential challenges and opportunities. Based on the information provided in this document, initial ingoing hypotheses to target hydrogen-related opportunities across road transport have been identified in order to prompt and inform discussions at the forthcoming ZEM IAG meeting.

The ZEM IAG/BDT workshop taking place on 23 March 2021 will focus on the application of hydrogen to road transport use cases.  Specifically, the workshop is designed to:

  • Discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for Scotland, a vision for Scottish industry participation in the hydrogen-powered transport value chain, and key barriers to achieving this vision.
  • To achieve the above objective, as part of the workshop, we will:
  • Identify use cases for the application of hydrogen to road transport, and the supply chain for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
  • Identify existing (and required) capabilities, across the supply chain to realise use case applications.
  • Identify actions required to build on strengths, convert opportunities, address weaknesses, mitigate threats, and remove barriers to deliver the vision.

Summary of analysis:

Below is a condensed summary of the analysis conducted on hydrogen relating to technical elements including its current maturity and scalability as a fuel solution, as well as wider considerations in respect of supply chain and infrastructure, and current Scottish capabilities/developments in this space. Full, detailed analysis can be found in the Annex of this paper, including how hydrogen is used to generate energy in fuel cells, and how these in turn are used in transport.

In summary:

  • Hydrogen gas is viable as a low carbon alternative to petrol and diesel for transport (through the use of hydrogen fuel cells). The use of hydrogen in a hydrogen fuel cell does not release any CO2 to power the vehicle but it does require an industrial process to produce the hydrogen (electrolysis or steam methane reforming). As long as the hydrogen is manufactured from electrolysis using electricity generated from renewables, fuel cell electric vehicles are cleaner than biofuel-powered vehicles.
  • The supply chain for the application of hydrogen to transport is complex. There are different ways to produce hydrogen, different ways to manufacture the fuel cell, and new components to be considered in vehicle manufacture (when compared to traditional or electric vehicles) e.g. fuel cell stacks, fuel cell boost converters, and hydrogen tanks. Developers facing choices around which options to use have a difficult task in weighing up the respective pros and cons e.g. electrolysis is the cleanest (but currently most expensive) way to manufacture hydrogen. In some of these instances, there has not yet been sufficient trials to bring the overall cost down, which can make some options appear more expensive than they might be in future. According to a study conducted by the California Energy Commission, the cost of hydrogen per kg could fall from USD 14.00 – 18.00 to USD 6.60 – 8.25 by 2030, if demand can at least reach 2,000 tonnes a day and the Government implements some form of incentive in favour of zero emission fuel. This will be comparable with the price of diesel today to cover the same distance of 100km. Currently, the complexity of the supply chain has acted as a barrier to widespread hydrogen deployment.
  • In addition to a developed and mature supply chain, comprehensive (re)fuelling and distribution infrastructure is required in order to be able to use hydrogen at scale. However, storing and transporting hydrogen is currently complex and expensive because of the chemical volatility of hydrogen. As the use of hydrogen fuel is scaled, there is an opportunity reduce both the complexity and cost of compressing, storage and distribution. Though this supporting infrastructure needs to be developed in Scotland for hydrogen to be deployed in the first instance. Additional challenges with respect to the use of hydrogen as a fuel include:

  • Significant cost of investment as the principal challenge for the widespread application of hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Appropriate standards, trade rules/barriers and government policy, to increase uptake.

Market trends in Scotland, and internationally:

  • Across the international market, Asia leads in fuel cell manufacturing. The largest footprint of fuel cell vehicles is in the following countries US (6000 in 2018), Japan (3000 in 2018), China (1200 in 2019), South Korea (2000 in 2018), and Germany (2 hydrogen-powered trains). These countries have hydrogen-specific policies and schemes, thus indicating that policy is a critical enabler of growth.
  • The future global market for hydrogen and fuel cells is expected to grow at 14.9% over the next 5 years to reach ~£2.3 billion in 2024, and the cost of fuel cell applications is expected to decline between now and 2030. This will encourage uptake in vehicles, especially longer-range vehicles like buses.
  • While Scotland is not yet commercially developing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles at scale, it is one of the front-runners in Europe for projects that demonstrate the application of hydrogen – for example, the Aberdeen Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Project that has completed the world’s first 10 single-decker hydrogen buses for the last 5 years (2015-2020) and is now trialling 15 double-decker buses for the next 5 years, the Surf N Turf project in Orkney that brings together tidal and wind energy with hydrogen storage equipment to fuel ferries, and the Ferguson Marine project which focuses on the design and development of hydrogen engine injection system components for ferries. Scotland’s capabilities and potential in this sector stem from the availability of off-shore wind for ‘green’ hydrogen production, a strong research and development ecosystem (including the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, and Universities of St. Andrews and Strathclyde), and hydrogen manufacturing companies (like Tokheim and Pure Energy Centre). Given the strong decarbonisation ambitions across the UK, and the fact that not every part of the country is naturally endowed with renewable resources, Scotland will play an important role in supplying hydrogen fuel as means to power vehicles (or other machinery) with sustainably sourced energy. As the demand for hydrogen fuel increases, it makes sense for Scotland to leverage its capability in fuel cell development and extend its reach to the wider supply chain.

  • In December 2020, Scottish Government released a ‘Hydrogen Policy Statement’, stating its intentions and vision for Scotland to become a leading nation in the production of reliable, competitive, and sustainable hydrogen. This includes a target of developing a low-cost hydrogen capability to meet an initial ambition of generating 5GW of renewable and low carbon hydrogen by 2030. Scottish Government is committed to delivering a ‘Hydrogen Action Plan’ in 2021, ahead of COP26. This Action Plan is to set out key strategic priorities in respect of hydrogen, one of which is the exportation of hydrogen to overseas markets as well as the UK – which will be core to the long-term strategy. This Action Plan is to be accompanied by £100 million worth of funding to boost excellence in research, innovation, and demonstration of secure, low-cost clean hydrogen production between 2021 and 2026.

The aforementioned analysis is used to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for Scotland. This is used to identify potential key opportunities for Scotland to pursue and assess how viable each one is. Potential opportunities identified include:

  • Investing in hydrogen production leveraging Scotland’s strong renewables sector and wind energy potential.
  • Building on existing Scottish Government’s policy statement, advocating for a dedicated long-term.
  • Hydrogen investment scheme, to the UK and Scottish Governments, in order to scale previous demonstrators into market-wide, commercially viable solutions.
  • Utilising existing capabilities to implement hydrogen application in the heavy duty and niche vehicles industry, to stimulate further demand across the entire hydrogen automotive economy.
  • Positioning Scotland as a global hydrogen R&D leader by leveraging MSIP.

Summary of workstreams presented

Scottish Hydrogen Train Project

What it is: PfG 2019 stated that for our rail network in Scotland; “Where we cannot electrify or it is inappropriate to do so, we will invest in battery powered trains and work with developers of hydrogen fuel cell trains to accelerate their development and deployment through practical trials in Scotland”.

Who: TS Rail & LCED, Scottish Enterprise, Hydrogen Accelerator & ARCOLA ENERGY who have begun conversion of C314 electric train to H2 fuel cell at Bo’ness Railway where it will run during COP26 in Nov 21.

Phase 2 objectives:

  • prove that in Scotland we have the capability of modifying an existing item of rolling stock to install hydrogen FC, batteries, control equipment, etc.
  • work with the regulatory bodies to develop the necessary standards and controls for the use of hydrogen FC power on passenger rolling stock
  • inform rail policy on the application of such technology on the Scottish passenger rail network in advance of the decarbonisation target of 2035 for  Scotland’s passenger rail services
  • demonstrate to Scotland rail community through practical application the operation of hydrogen FC passenger rolling stock
  • provide the supply chain with the opportunity to develop their skills and advance their knowledge of the application of hydrogen FC technology on passenger rolling stock as well as issues relating to hydrogen supply and refuelling infrastructure
  • provide educational institutions with the opportunity for research and practical application of hydrogen FC technology within the rail industry

Orkney H2 bus/other Green Growth Accelerator

What it is: Potential for Orkney Island Council to bring an early project of the Green growth Accelerator finance model forward to develop H2 production, charging infrastructure and vehicles (buses and/or tug).

Who is involved: LCED, Green Growth Accelerator team (in SFT & Exchequer), and Orkney Island Council. SG Hydrogen and Islands teams both supportive. For LCED, Sara and Claire.

Stage it is at: Potential opportunity shared with Orkney Island Council who are considering if this is something they would like to pursue.

Energy Saving Trust Workplan

What it is: proposal from EST that their workplan for the coming year includes research including:

As appropriate studies may include reference to innovative approaches to supporting transition of public sector fleets, particularly around heavy fleet and hydrogen. Each study will include the following elements:

  • Identification of key strategic sites for public charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure
  • Forecast of the number of BEVs and hydrogen vehicles expected in the study area
  • Advice on the scale and type of public charging, and hydrogen refuelling, infrastructure required to support a variety of sectors which may include general public, third sector, taxi, rural specific, and electric coach.

Who is involved: EST, LCED

Stage it is at: Proposal for discussion

Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership/Zemo Workplan

What it is: Zemo (formerly LowCVP) has been grant-funded in recent years to provide technical and policy-development support to LCED. The grant offer details a workplan covered by this funding, consisting of:

  • Regular briefing and updates on relevant transport decarbonisation issues
  • Ad hoc support on high profile issues arising
  • Specific workstreams for LCED….2021/22 may include:
    • Low carbon transport fuels policy development
    • Future options for ‘hard to electrify’ HGV sectors e.g. long-haul operations
    • Input to Bioenergy Action Plan
    • Work with UKG on inititives like E10 petrol intro and RTFO reform
  • IAG input
  • TS contribution to UK-wide elements of LowCVP’s work
  • Support for Scottish businesses and SG-family teams on transport decarbonisation technical advice

Who is involved: Zemo lead Andrew Fraser, TS

Stage it is at: Proposals for inclusion in Plan under discussion

Scottish Enterprise Work

What it is: emerging ideas from SE about how to keep supply and demand of H2 developing in tandem and at pace

Who is involved: Kevin at SE/Stuart at TS

Stage it is at: very early ideas and momentum development

Tayside/MSIP Project

What it is: emerging ideas to support decarbonisation of heavy vehicles in the Tayside region

Who is involved: MSIP, Scottish Enterprise , LCED

Stage it is at: agreed in principle the outline for partnership working. MSIP will now draft a project brief

The Race to Zero (SOTC Challenge Fund)

What it is: City of Glasgow Council are deploying a Hydrogen fuel cell Refuse Collection Vehicle and associated refuelling infrastructure, complementing the battery-electric RCV already approved under the SOTC project. This will also kick start the development of this vehicle at MSIP with the technology being overseen by academics from the University of St Andrews.

Who is involved: TS, City of Glasgow Council, MSIP, LCED

Stage it is at: A further 19 H2  Fuel-cell RCVs are on order for Glasgow

Switched on Fleets Programme

What it is: A programme to support Local Authorities transition to zero emission fleets.

Who is involved: TS, City of Aberdeen Council, LCED: Chris Champion

Stage it is at: It has supported City of Aberdeen Council to retrofit street sweepers with dual-fuel drivetrains, City of Glasgow to convert around 20 RCVs to duel fuel, and Scottish Water purchase HFC van.

Zero Emission Mobility Academic Network

What it is: a 3-year lifespan academic network to support research and product development in zero emission mobility through the pooling of academic capability and enabling collaborations between industry and academia. Hydrogen will feature in the programme’s activity

Who is involved: TS, Scottish Enterprise, The University of Strathclyde’s Energy Technology Partnership, various academic institutions, LCED: Caitlin Tullett

Stage it is at: final stages of set up with start date planned in the upcoming months.

LOCATE Project

What it is: The LOCATE project completes a 2020/21 Programme for Government commitment by developing a drivetrain testing facility which is being advanced by University the St Andrews and the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP).

Who is involved: TS, Scottish Enterprise, MSIP and The University of St Andrews. In LCED, Ed Thomson, Matt Eastwood, Chris McGhee, Caitlin Tullett

Stage it is at: Confirmed that the Hydrogen Accelerator team at the University of St Andrews will advance the project.


What it is: Closely linked to LOCATE project, and laying the foundations for a wider ecosystem of innovation infrastructure, is our support to expand the Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Industrialisation Centre at the University of Strathclyde, which will focus on the decarbonisation of heavy duty vehicles, EV supply chain growth and hydrogen systems grid integration

Who is involved: TS, University of Strathclyde’s DER. In LCED, Ed Thomson, Matt Eastwood, Chris McGhee, Caitlin Tullett

Stage it is at: Plan is in development by the University of Strathclyde’s DER Industrialisation centre.

Hydrogen Action Plan

What it is: A Plan to boost excellence in research, innovation development and demonstration of secure, low-cost clean hydrogen production between 2021 and 2026, which will set out the actions we will take to implement our hydrogen policies across the SG family of organisations – including TS

Who is involved: TS, SG,

Stage it is at: Plan is in development, Funding of £100m has been announced to accompany the Plan

Hydrogen Accelerator

What it is: providing assistance to public bodies and other organisations to develop and deliver projects that test, demonstrate or apply hydrogen technologies in the transport system. It provides expertise in the design and delivery of hydrogen projects, project management guidance and support, and conducts analysis of the evolution of hydrogen-related technologies.

Who is involved: TS, SG, University of St Andrew’s, public bodies, research organisations, industry,

Stage it is at: Accelerator has been established; initial grant of c. £300k p/a has been agreed.

Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub

What it is: A project which aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen by aggregating HFC bus, rail, HGV and public sector vehicles to reduce costs through scale and end with H2 being exported from Aberdeen

Who is involved: TS, SG Energy, Aberdeen City Council, Scottish Water, JIVE, maritime

Stage it is at: In October 2020, the Energy Transition Fund Board approved expenditure for the first phase of the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub project – an investment of £4.5m which has allowed the city to exercise a priced option for expansion of the hydrogen bus fleet through the JIVE project. The fleet was finally extended on the 6 March with 10 double decker buses bringing the fleet total to 25 hydrogen double decker buses. 

Identifying future demand for hydrogen in the city and region is the next stage of the outline business case and a total of £200k was allocated to this.

Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce

What it is: An industry group established to identify and tackle barriers to rapid transition to zero emissions bus fleets

Who is involved: TS, ATCO, Bus operators & CPT, energy companies, BOC, Scottish Enterprise, coachbuilding industry and financiers, LCED leads are Claire Jones, James Goodall

Stage it is at: Group has been established, slide pack as an introduction to hydrogen is in production

Sustainable Aviation Test Environment

What it is: Project part funded by UKRI’s Future Flight Programme. It will create the UK's first operationally-based, low-carbon aviation test centre at Kirkwall Airport. Hydrogen aircraft will be tested there and the project will also consider what else is needed to enable the use of hydrogen aircraft on scheduled passenger services e.g. airport infrastructure, training etc.

Who is involved: Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd, University of the Highlands and Islands, Ampaire, Zero-Avia, European Marine Energy Centre, Loganair, Denchi Group, Cloudnet, Air Service Training, The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), and Orkney Islands Council,  LCED - Ruth MacDonald

Stage it is at: Funding awarded and first aircraft trials expected in the summer.

100% Hydrogen CHP system

What it is: The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is collaborating with Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) to decarbonise heat and power at Kirkwall Airport through green hydrogen technology.

Who is involved: EMEC and HIAL

Stage it is at: Funding awarded

Published Date 23 Mar 2021 Type Topic