Plans to make Aberdeen a ‘hydrogen town’ scrapped

Claire Coutinho

SECRETARY of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho has scrapped plans that could have seen Aberdeen become a ‘hydrogen town’.

The Granite City was one of four places in the running – alongside Scunthorpe and two Welsh towns – to be used as a trial run for wholesale conversion to hydrogen for heating.

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The proposals could have forced thousands of homes and businesses in Aberdeen to replace their natural gas supply with hydrogen by the end of the decade.

However, a raft of protests in two earmarked ‘hydrogen villages’ (both in England) forced the government to pull plans, ultimately shelving any future ‘hydrogen town’ proposals too.

The U-turn massively undermines the UK Government’s plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which was launched by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

The ten point plan called for hydrogen heating schemes at neighbourhood level by 2023, a ‘hydrogen village’ by 2025 and a fully-fledged ‘hydrogen town’ by the late 2020s.

Lord Martin Callanan, energy efficiency minister, said heat pumps and heat networks will be the main emission-cutting route for home for the “foreseeable future”.

He added that any work on a ‘hydrogen town’ pilot won’t be progressed until after 2026.

The rollout of hydrogen heating had previously been criticised by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), who recommended against doing so.

The NIC’s annual report on government progress with major projects is due next week and, according to reports, is again expected to criticise the use of hydrogen for heating.

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