New funding to accelerate the production and storage of hydrogen as a renewable fuel has been launched by the Scottish Government.

The £10 million Hydrogen Innovation Scheme will provide capital support over the next four years, to unlock additional private investment in the technology, and enable new companies to enter the sector.

The first round of funding will target projects that support the sustainable production of renewable hydrogen. its efficient storage and distribution, and its integration into our energy system

The scheme is part of a ScotGov commitment to invest £100 million in hydrogen over the course of this parliament, itself part of a wider £180 million package of investment in emerging energy technologies as set out in its updated Climate Change Plan.

Net Zero & Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Scotland has the resources, the people and the ambition to become a world leader in hydrogen production for both domestic use and for export to Europe.

“The Scottish Government is committed to working with the energy sector to establish hydrogen as an important part of a cleaner, greener energy system, supporting a just transition for the industry both home and abroad.

“We are open to the world and actively seeking opportunities to collaborate with international partners. The Hydrogen Innovation Scheme provides important, near-term investment to help the sector develop, diversify and realise it’s potential to support our transition to a net zero economy.”

Head of Low Carbon Transition at Scottish Enterprise, Andy McDonald, said:

“Scottish Enterprise is collaborating with Scottish Government to develop opportunities in the hydrogen sector in Scotland that will maximise the economic benefits and support energy transition. We share the ambition to develop Scotland as a leading hydrogen nation.

“It is important in an emerging sector like hydrogen that we support Scottish companies and projects now to develop new techniques and technologies which can help us to realise our future ambitions in this sector and to retain as much value and intellectual property in Scotland as possible."

Director of Energy Transition and Net Zero at Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Audrey MacIver, said: “The development of green hydrogen is a potentially significant economic opportunity for the Highlands and Islands. Our region is already rich in the resources, infrastructure and skills to grow a thriving and sustainable renewable energy sector. We have business and communities already engaged in innovative hydrogen demonstration projects, where learning by doing is proving hugely valuable.

“Further innovation in the production, distribution and use of green hydrogen could accelerate our transition to net zero, while creating high value, sustainable employment, including in many of our rural locations.

“We very much welcome this new innovation fund, which will help expand that knowledge and expertise, and set us on a path towards a hydrogen economy.”