Council boosts green energy plans

Aberdeen City Council is strengthening its commitment to energy transition and combating climate change as part of its spending plans for 2021/22 and the years beyond.

The newly approved annual budget includes a raft of measures to reduce carbon emissions, ranging from a hydrogen production hub to additional electric vehicle charging points to the further greening the Council’s own fleet.

Councillor Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: "Investments like these keep Aberdeen at the forefront of what it does best – innovating, working with industry, and driving energy transition within the UK and Scotland.

"The hydrogen industry has the potential to be worth up to £25 billion a year to Scotland’s economy by 2045 – and we are playing a pivotal role.

"We made these budget decisions around the environmental benefits, but also with an eye on the wider supply chain benefits, and I am delighted that Aberdeen is on the map when it comes to leading the hydrogen revolution.”

The £38.4 million hydrogen investment package agreed at yesterday’s budget includes £19.4 million for a new production facility hub to power transport and enable the heating of homes.

The ultimate ambition is that Aberdeen could be an exporter of green hydrogen to UK and European markets in the future.

A further £19 million will be made available over five years to enhance the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and bus programme within the city. And £28 million was set aside for the Council’s green fleet replacement programme. 

Over the last five years the Council has cut its carbon emissions by one third and recently adopted a new Climate Change Plan.

Aberdeen’s role in the global energy transition has been further strengthened by plans for an Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) at Aberdeen Harbour South to develop renewable energy sources.

Councillor Lumsden said: “As well as unlocking new private sector investment, this work will support industry to leverage existing skills and expertise in the area as well as creating job opportunities.

“Aligning all elements of the Net Zero Vision for the city, these developments build on projects delivered by the Aberdeen City Region Deal in technology and energy transition.”

Wider Council spending plans include further investment in high quality affordable homes, new schools, support with employability, community welfare funding – and £150 million over the medium term to enhance the city centre and beach.

Councillor Lumsden said: “Our budget will ensure that economic and environmental success is translated into social success – lifting people out of poverty, improving health and wellbeing, and offering equal opportunities for everyone to flourish and prosper.