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Island harnesses hydrogen power


The final piece of a community project to harness hydrogen power – generated from tidal energy – has been unveiled in Orkney.

We reported last month that the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney delivered a world first, when an electrolyser produced hydrogen gas ‘using electricity generated from tidal energy’. Now a hydrogen fuel has been installed at Kirkwall Pier as part of the ‘Surf ‘n’ Turf hydrogen community energy project’.

The innovative initiative is being spearheaded by the charity, Community Energy Scotland, which is working with EMEC, Eday Renewable Energy, Orkney Islands Council, and ITM Power.

Hydrogen stored and transported to Kirkwall will be converted by the cell into electricity, which inter-island ferries can use when berthed.

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said at this week’s unveiling of the fuel cell: “I enjoyed what was a fascinating visit to the Surf n’ Turf facilities at Kirkwall Harbour.

“Hydrogen itself and hydrogen fuel cells both have huge potential in Scotland’s low-carbon energy system and we have already supported a number of world-leading hydrogen demonstration projects.

“We will continue to support innovation in suitable hydrogen initiatives and explore the practicalities of using hydrogen as a zero carbon substitute fuel for the heating of homes and businesses in Scotland and in transport.

“Hydrogen energy technologies are in the early stages of development in Scotland but there is growing global awareness of their potential in the decarbonisation of heat, industry and transport. We are actively considering what role hydrogen can play in Scotland’s future energy system as part of the Scottish Energy Strategy, and projects like Surf ‘n’ Turf have a very important role to play in informing that work.”

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