New Climate Change Plan for Scotland Sets Ambitious 2032 Target

The new draft Climate Change Plan for Scotland was released on 19th January, and contains ambitious targets and clear proposals for using hydrogen to reduce emissions from transport and heat. This plan outlines the new target to reduce Scottish greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032, as compared to the 1990 baseline.

The draft Plan contains a pathway out to 2032, broken down into sector carbon envelopes for Electricity, Residential, Transport, Services, Industry, Waste, Land Use (including Forestry and Peat) and Agriculture. Each sector contains policies and proposals designed to keep emissions within the carbon envelopes. The plan sets out 2032 targets for a fully-decarbonised electricity sector and 80% of domestic heat coming from low-carbon sources. The draft Climate Change Plan also includes extensive references to the potential for hydrogen to support decarbonisation of heat and transport, including:

·         Work with partners to determine the best approach to heat decarbonisation for buildings currently heated by natural gas, include consideration of technological solutions, including repurposing of the gas network for use of biogas and/or hydrogen

·         By 2035 the transport infrastructure will support both electric and hydrogen powered vehicles

·         Low emission vehicles will also play a role in the wider energy system. Electric and hydrogen vehicles will have a role in energy storage

The Climate Change Plan also refers extensively to the Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy, due to be published on 24th January 2017. In developing the draft Energy Strategy, the Scottish Government has set out, for the first time, a full statement of its ambitious long-term vision of energy supply and use in Scotland, aligned with greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. Some of these alternative energy sources may, for example, have the potential to reduce both the cost and the delivery barriers of policies or proposals in the current draft Climate Change Plan, such as the replacement of natural gas by 100% pure hydrogen for space heating in some areas of the gas network.

The Climate Change Plan identifies the role the role that other alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, gas and biofuel, can play in the transition to a decarbonised road transport sector. Specific areas of opportunity for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies include:

·         work to build on the investment in both the Aberdeen H2 bus project and the Levenmouth community energy project

·         continued work with key partners to investigate the use of hydrogen as a transport fuel

·         exploring wider environmental and economic opportunities of using hydrogen for energy applications

·         hydrogen for energy applications, especially in promoting renewables, energy balancing and storage

The draft Climate Change Plan will now be subject to a 60-day consultation period, and can be viewed here: