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NZTC Secures £200,000 Funding to Accelerate UK-German Hydrogen Export Opportunity

The Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) has been awarded £200,000 from Scottish Government to advance critical research to demonstrate the feasibility and economic opportunity of exporting hydrogen from Scotland to Germany and solidify the case for infrastructure investment.

Image Credit: Net Zero Technology Centre

The research will analyse and integrate work already undertaken at NZTC as well as several notable European projects currently underway. Examples of these include NZTC's Hydrogen Backbone Link, which focuses on the hydrogen transport infrastructure required to deliver a cost-effective pipeline solution between Scotland and Europe. As well as AquaVentus's 'AquaDuctus' initiative, a GW-scale offshore hydrogen pipeline located in the German North Sea that aims to connect green hydrogen obtained offshore with the European mainland and the emerging onshore hydrogen infrastructure.

The increasing German demand for hydrogen and its derivatives can only be covered through imports, presenting a unique opportunity for collaboration between Scotland and Germany.

The research will outline the benefits of an integrated pan-North Sea offshore hydrogen pipeline network to efficiently harvest NW Europe’s offshore wind resource.

It will facilitate the alignment of spatial and infrastructure planning and encourage the coordination of each country's hydrogen strategies toward a unified European plan.

The research will estimate green hydrogen production from Scottish hubs and its alignment with industrial demand in Germany. Various export-import scenarios will be explored, examining multi-sector end-use applications, technology requirements, and regulatory considerations.

Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Action Plan estimates that the development of a hydrogen economy in Scotland could sustain and create between 70,000 to over 300,000 jobs, with potential Gross Value Added (GVA) impacts of between £5 billion and £25 billion a year by 2045 depending on the scale of production and the extent of exports.

Martyn Tulloch, Director of Energy Transition at NZTC said:

“Analysis from the International Energy Agency shows that Scotland has vast potential for green hydrogen production from offshore wind. At the same time, it’s widely recognised that Germany will have the greatest demand for low carbon hydrogen as Europe moves towards net zero.

This funding marks a significant step forward in strengthening cross-border ties and will position Scotland and Germany at the heart of an integrated North Sea pipeline system.”

Scottish Government Energy Minister Gillian Martin said:

“We support this cutting edge research because it can unlock the case for hydrogen exports from Scotland and strengthen ties and opportunities with Germany.

“It could also help spur investment in pipelines and other infrastructures in Scottish and German waters, to match our hydrogen production with overseas demand.

“This innovative project is helping accelerate efforts to create a greener, more prosperous economy and reach net zero.”

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