Environmental campaigners have said that the Scottish Government’s draft Hydrogen Action Plan is a way of ‘sneaking fossil fuels in by the back door’.

Friends of the Earth Scotland have responded to a public consultation on the £100million Hydrogen Plan which closes today (19/1/22). Criticisms of the plan include that it will lock Scotland into continued extraction and use of fossil fuels for the creation of hydrogen from gas.

The Scottish Government has set a goal of 5GW of energy from hydrogen by 2030 but the plan fails to say how much of this will be composed of fossil fuel-derived hydrogen and how much from renewable sources. The plan fails to spell out how much of the £100million could go to subsidising hydrogen produced by fossil fuels.

The plan also states that hydrogen could be used to heat homes and to power transport. However, research has shown that these are an inefficient and expensive use of renewable electricity, which should be used to directly power electric vehicles and heat homes rather than converting electricity to hydrogen power.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Climate Campaigner Alex Lee said:

“The Government’s Plan looks like a plot to sneak fossil fuels in the back door through the use of blue hydrogen. This Hydrogen Action Plan could see tens of millions of pounds of public money end up subsidising fossil fuel companies to support continued gas extraction and production for hydrogen.

“The Scottish Government is cynically marketing blue hydrogen, made from gas, as ‘low-carbon hydrogen’ but studies have shown that this blue hydrogen actually releases more climate changing emissions than just burning gas.

“The Plan fails to spell out exactly how much fossil or renewable hydrogen the Scottish Government aims to support. This must raise concerns about whether the Government does not want the public to know the true extent of their plans for more energy from polluting fossil fuels. Instead we should be seeing a plan for an urgent transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy in a way that is fair to workers and communities in the North East.

“The plan also states that hydrogen could be used to heat our homes and to power transport in Scotland. However these uses are an inefficient, misdirected and expensive use of renewable electricity, which should be used to directly power electric vehicles and keep our homes warm rather than wastefully converting electricity to hydrogen power.”



Scottish Government Hydrogen Action Plan launch PR https://www.gov.scot/news/making-scotland-a-leading-hydrogen-producer/

FoES response to the Hydrogen action plan will be available at https://foe.scot/resource/

Study from Cornell University showing higher carbon emissions from blue hydrogen (fossil hydrogen with carbon capture) than grey (fossil without carbon capture)) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ese3.956

Blue Hydrogen is made from fossil gas and is a process that still releases climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions. Blue hydrogen, sometimes called fossil hydrogen, relies on a technology called Carbon Capture and Storage to capture carbon produced from this process. There is no working CCS plant in the UK.

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.