In the weeks following the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow, As part of the UK's efforts to eliminate carbon emissions from the country's energy system by 2035, The government launched the Whiteley Green Hydrogen Project, It is the largest hydrogen energy storage project of its kind using an electrolyzer that will be installed at a wind power plant. This is to regulate energy production and storage to meet local need.
With the world set its sights on confronting climate change and reducing carbon emissions, Government policies, innovations and initiatives continue to find alternatives and accelerate the transition to clean and renewable energy. One of the areas witnessing rapid growth is the so-called "green hydrogen". Which is produced by electrolysis of renewable energy. According to Bloomberg estimates in clean energy finance studies, Hydrogen could meet up to 24% of the world's energy needs by 2050. If the necessary capabilities are available. findings supported by a report by the International Energy Agency, Hydrogen and fuels are key to reducing carbon, Hydrogen electrolyzer is also one of the most promising opportunities for energy innovations. Besides advanced batteries and efforts to capture and store greenhouse gases.
But why is the UK government paying attention to the production and storage of green hydrogen? This is due to the sustainability and carbon-free green hydrogen, Unlike grey hydrogen production processes that rely on exposing fossil fuels to steam, These processes are therefore not carbon-free. The Whiteley electrolyzer is a water-to-hydrogen system that has the ability to store energy for long periods and in large quantities. After generating electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind turbines or solar panels, They are used to decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen known as low-carbon hydrogen. After hydrogen production, It can be used directly in fuel cells or in the production of hydrogen-based fuels such as ammonia, synthetic liquids and gas.
These features of green hydrogen are extremely important, In particular, the biggest challenge in the transition to clean energy away from fossil fuels lies in the ease of producing energy from non-renewable fuel sources compared to others. where fossil fuels represent, Despite its disadvantages and environmental impacts, a stable and reliable source of electricity, The most important is that it can be controlled by the network to meet demand, It is a characteristic that renewables lack, which often experience periods of disparity between supply and demand, Or between the available energy and the need for it. As unpredictable, It is not possible to control a cloudy day that blocks the sun's rays from the power panels or the intensity or direction of the wind, The possibility of an energy deficit or surplus remains. If renewable energy will replace fossil fuels, This challenge must be overcome by enabling large-scale clean energy storage.
These factors, In addition to the strong presence of technology in the innovation of clean hydrogen solutions, It has made the latter a major competitor to the most promising alternatives to low-carbon fossil fuels.
This is what the City of Glasgow is working on by encouraging partnerships between leading private clean energy pioneers to find innovative solutions for the large-scale production and storage of green hydrogen. With £9.4 million in funding provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategies, the Energy Innovation Division, Two leading clean energy companies have teamed up to launch the Whiteley Green Hydrogen Project.
The first is British Oxygen (BOC), which supports the UK's efforts to enable commercial and private hydrogen transport with the support of a refueling network across the UK. Through the Clean Fuels team, it designs, implements and operates solutions to deliver refueling services quickly.
As for the second company, It is "ITM Smart Energy", It manufactures integrated hydrogen energy solutions for grid balancing, energy storage and renewable hydrogen production for transportation, heating and chemical industries.
The two companies will work with Scottish Power on one of its wind power plants. An electrolyzer will be integrated into the operations of the plant, which is the largest in the UK, With a capacity of 539 MW produced by 215 turbines. In Sheffield, Project partners will manufacture and develop an electrolyzer, As well as operating the largest electrolyzer manufacturing facility in the world with a capacity of one thousand megawatts per year.
In addition, The government has allocated £2.25 million to prepare and develop the workforce, develop training specifications to train workers to handle hydrogen products. This will be done by a consortium of energy experts and engineers. In the same vein, The British Standards Institution will work on the development of technical standards for hydrogen products.
The project is still in its early stages, It receives considerable government attention to monitor its challenges and impacts. As it is completed, The daily production of the facility will be between 2.5 to 4 tons of green hydrogen per day, Once stored, This will provide enough carbon-free fuel to power the 225 buses that travel the distance between Glasgow and Edinburgh every day. The project will also put Scotland at the forefront of the clean energy race. Such projects would contribute to making the most of their world-class renewable resources.
More broadly, The use of hydrogen will make it possible to convert surplus renewable energy into fuel that can be used in the economy. And by storing and transporting it, Disparities in supply and demand can be regulated within variable electrical power supply, And create a lot of jobs. With this, Hydrogen will play a key role in creating a fully decarbonized energy system. It is the cornerstone of the UK's quest to achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.