H2 Aberdeen is an initiative working to bring about a hydrogen economy in the Aberdeen City Region. It will help reinforce the area's position as an energy city, now and in the future. Aberdeen has a fleet of approximately 57 hydrogen vehicles to date with approximately 35 more expected over the next three years. There are also two hydrogen refuelling stations that can refuel both buses, cars, HGVs and vans at 350 bar and 700 bar.
Over the past five years, Aberdeen has established itself as a centre of excellence for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. A wide range of initiatives have been implemented, including:
the initial deployment in March 2015 of ten hydrogen fuel-cell buses (one of the largest fleets in Europe at the time) with a renewed fleet of a further 25 double-decker buses now being delivered over 2020-22;
the introduction of both light and heavy fuel-cell vehicles into Council operational fleets and a local car sharing club;
delivery of a megawatt-scale stationary fuel-cell as part of the city’s recent conference centre development;
and the delivery and operation of two public hydrogen refuelling stations operating since 2015.
The Future of Hydrogen in Aberdeen
On 25 October 2021, Aberdeen City Council announced bp as its preferred bidder for a commercial partnership, which will accelerate the city’s ambitions to become a world-class hydrogen hub. Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub will create a springboard for economic growth, future investment, technology development and jobs across the region. The hub, developed in partnership with Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise, is a programme of public sector investments that aim to unlock further investment to create a hydrogen economy in North East Scotland. The programme includes the following phases:
Phase One - Initial Production for Public Sector Consumption - the focus is on delivery of production, storage and distribution infrastructure for green hydrogen utilising renewable power to produce hydrogen for the next phase of 100% Hydrogen Bus Fleets and the public sector vehicle fleet
Phase Two - Hydrogen for Heat - Building on this, in the medium term, delivery of a hydrogen for heat initiative, partnering with international suppliers to invest in a hydrogen fuel cell deployment for housing
Phase Three - Hydrogen for Export - With these building blocks in place, longer term, the ambition is to locate a UK Hydrogen Production and Export Hub in Aberdeen that generates large scale production from renewable energy for transport (rail and ferries), housing, industrial use and ultimately export of green hydrogen from Aberdeen to UK and international export markets. It is a facility that is scalable with commercial ambition.
Not only does the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub have the potential to provide a significant contribution to UK Government and Scottish Government Climate Change targets, it aligns with the UK Government’s announcement of a Hydrogen Transport Programme, the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government and in particular, the Scottish Government’s Hydrogen Policy Statement, which sets Scotland to become a leading hydrogen nation, with an ambition to generate 5GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030.
Aberdeen City Council intends to invest and work with a delivery partner(s) to bring forward the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub but also to realise the commercial opportunity that renewable energy and hydrogen could provide to the City.
The project is scoped to address key commercial and technical deliverables, outlined below. The deliverables will inform the procurement process and outcome, options include:
Commercial: • A development and / or investment opportunity for Aberdeen City Council with either benefits in kind (i.e. reduction in price of fuel for investment) or delivery via a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) • A commercially viable business model for the delivery of the initial investment and proposals for subsequent development phases • Willingness to collaborate with other future hydrogen suppliers in the region to store and supply hydrogen for Aberdeen as part of a regional hydrogen consortium • Evidence to support job creation and retention of highly skilled jobs in the energy sector across North East Scotland including the contribution, in kind or otherwise, to establishing hydrogen training academy and /or hydrogen technology centre in Aberdeen • Deliver hydrogen (at the point of use) at an initial target price of £6.15 per kg (or less over different timelines with options) • Expanded fuel production • Green/Zero and Low Carbon Hydrogen Production • Upgrading existing refuelling infrastructure in the city • Delivering new refuelling infrastructure to support growing demand • Growing towards export capability • Feasibility studies and development scope of potential new applications