Hydrogen opportunities and achievements highlighted at Granite City conference

Leading Scottish hydrogen projects are to be showcased in Aberdeen later this month.

The Aberdeen Hydrogen Showcase will demonstrate the link between renewable energy, hydrogen, and transport in an event which will bring local authorities and industry together to explore achievements made to date and future opportunities.

The conference, which brings UK Hydrogen Week to a close, will feature presentations and demonstrations from industry representatives, as well as from Scottish local authorities delivering H2 projects across the country.

The Aberdeen Hydrogen Showcase will make the link between renewable energy and transport with use of hydrogen as a clean fuel with zero emissions at the tailpipe.

The Granite City's fleet of hydrogen buses, vans and cars will be on show, with short test drive opportunities available to conference delegates. A tour of the UK's largest hydrogen production and bus refuelling station is also on offer. Travel to and from the Kittybrewster site will be by hydrogen bus.

Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing will open the event. SHFCA chair John Lidderdale will chair the first of two morning sessions, which will showcase hydrogen projects and include presentations from Aberdeen's lead councillor for hydrogen Barney Crockett, Barbara Whiting from Fife Council; and Jan Falconer from Orkney Islands Council.

Councillor Crockett said: "Aberdeen is leading the way on hydrogen in Scotland and it is fitting that we are hosting this important event which will demonstrate not only what the city has achieved, is planning for the future and is so clearly capable of, but also the progress made in other parts of Scotland and the developing opportunities in hydrogen.

"It is becomingly increasingly clear that hydrogen is a secure fuel of the future and its potential uses are many; from powering vehicles and heating homes, to providing a clean energy storage system. The opportunities it presents are vast and it is essential that governments at all levels work together alongside industry to ensure those opportunities are seized upon

"Aberdeen and other areas involved in the oil and gas sector are going through a hard time. By focusing on hydrogen now we can work on developing a new sector in the way that oil and gas developed in the 1960s and 70s and ensure Aberdeen remains a leading world energy city."

The second morning session, chaired by ULEMCO managing director Amanda Lyne, will focus on hydrogen transport opportunities and include presentations from: David Yorke of Transport for London; Transport Scotland Low Carbon Vehicle Policy manager Ewan Swaffield; and Aileen Edwards of the Scottish Cities Alliance Fuel Cell Bus Commercialisation Study. Aberdeen City Council will also present on funding opportunities.

Ewan Swaffield will chair the afternoon session, which focuses on deployment opportunities for low carbon transport. It will include presentations from Arcola Energy, Symbio, CoWheels, Hyundai, and bus operators First and Stagecoach.

Robert Cumming of Doosan Babcock will lead a workshop on fuel cell uses for low carbon heat and power.

It will be of particular interest to companies and organisations with interest in deployment of low carbon vehicles.

John Lidderdale, Chairman of the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA), said: "Local authorities in Scotland are playing a pivotal role in the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for cleaner transport in our cities and neighbourhoods.

This is exemplified by Europe's largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses now operating in Aberdeen, in a partnership led by SHFCA member Aberdeen City Council. This Hydrogen Showcase event offers the opportunity for other cities and regions to experience these zero-emission vehicles and their hydrogen refuelling facilities at first hand."

SHFCA chief executive Nigel Holmes added: "The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus project comes at a critical point as hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are gaining wider acceptance in commercial applications. The funding from the European Union has enabled Scotland to clearly show renewable energy being used to produce clean hydrogen fuel for transport.

"Hydrogen will be a key enabler for effective low carbon energy systems, an area where Scotland is well positioned to take a leading role with both research and deployment.

"I am delighted that the Showcase also includes other innovative hydrogen projects from the 'Local Energy Challenge' portfolio with Levenmouth in Fife, and Surf & Turf in Orkney.

"These are both clear examples of the benefits from using an energy systems approach, and have wide replication potential throughout Scotland and Europe.'"

Aberdeen City Council is hosting the event, supported by the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA).

The Aberdeen Hydrogen Showcase, which will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on 18 March, is an invitation-only event. To request an invitation email H2Aberdeen@aberdeencity.gov.uk