A Scottish island council – which even runs a bin lorry off hydrogen produced from food waste – is looking to boost its use of the gas to cut its climate emissions.
Western Isles Council has hosted a seminar this week looking at the opportunities that hydrogen could offer the islands.
The authority says that the manufacture of the gas is extremely energy intensive but, with the “best wind resource in the Northern Hemisphere,” the Outer Hebrides are well positioned to manufacture hydrogen from renewable energy.
A study has now been commissioned, supported by Community Energy Scotland, to look at where additional hydrogen opportunities may lie and how they can be accessed.
The work will run in parallel with the council’s ground-breaking Hydrogen Project – Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub (OHLEH) – which has been shortlisted for an award at this year’s VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.
OHLEH is a partnership between the council, Scottish Salmon Company, Pure Energy Centre and Community Energy Scotland that generates green hydrogen and oxygen from Fish Farm waste at the Creed Recycling Centre near Stornoway in a true, circular economy.
Councillor Uisdean Robertson, chairman of the council’s transportation and infrastructure committee, said:”The council has been active in hydrogen since 2010 when an electrolyser was installed at Creed Park Recycling Centre.
“Now we are powering our own hydrogen refuse collection vehicle, one of only five in Scotland, from electrolyser hydrogen and hydrogen produced by the innovative OHLEH project.
“In addition, over the past few months, the council has engaged with commercial partners to explore the use of hydrogen produced in the islands in local heat networks.
“In the council’s revised energy strategy, one strand will focus on local hydrogen production and the benefits it offers to all our communities.”