Published 26/01/2024

By Sian Williamson, Associations and Sectors.

In December 2020, the Scottish government published its Hydrogen Policy Statement and announced the sector will receive £100 million of investment to support a green recovery and the country's ambitions to bring all greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050. It is the first country in the UK to set out such guidelines.

Scotland is set to become a leading hydrogen nation and has set a goal to generate 5GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, which will be enough to power the equivalent of 1.8 million homes. The industry has the potential to be worth up to £25bn a year to the Scottish economy by 2045.

We take a look at the country's pioneering projects and the exciting developments taking place which will support Scotland in achieving its net zero goals.

What is Green Hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is a zero-carbon technology made using electricity from renewable energy sources via electrolysation, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The by-products of this are water and oxygen - meaning zero carbon emissions.

It can be used by industries and companies that cannot fully electrify their operations to help them lower their emissions, including transport such as buses and bin lorries.

World-Leading Projects

Scotland is known for its pioneering spirit and innovation and it is home to some world-leading and world-first green hydrogen products, including a long-range zero-emission hydrogen flight, a floating green hydrogen facility, a hydrogen-powered heating network, tidal-powered hydrogen electrolyser and even hydrogen-powered gin.

Scotland is also home to the one of the world's largest number of hydrogen-powered vehicles including buses, trains and refuse trucks.


As part of the Green Hydrogen for Scotland partnership, ScottishPower has submitted a planning application to build a green hydrogen facility close to the UK's largest onshore windfarm in Whitlee, Glasgow.

Under the plans, the facility will be the first project for Green Hydrogen for Glasgow and is designed to provide carbon-free transport and clean air for communities across the city as well as helping support industrial hydrogen demand in the region. It also supports the Scottish Government's decarbonisation targets and Glasgow City Council's pledge to creating a zero emissions vehicle fleet, using only electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles by the end of 2029.


The James Hutton Institute based at Invergowrie on the outskirts of Dundee is leading on a pioneering HydroGlen project in northeast Scotland.  HydroGlen is a demonstration project, looking at the potential for farming communities to use hydrogen in a scalable and replicable way so that they could become self-reliant, low-carbon energy producers and exporters.

Based at the Hutton's Glensaugh research farm near Fettercairn in Aberdeenshire, the project plans to combine the on-site generation of renewable energy and hydrogen production using an electrolyser with energy storage of compressed hydrogen.

Arbikie distillery located at Lunan between Dundee and Aberdeen is on track to become the World's First Hydrogen Powered Distillery by installing a 1 MW wind turbine, electrolyser, hydrogen storage and hydrogen boiler system.  Working in collaboration with Locogen and Logan Energy to power their distillery with green hydrogen.


Aberdeen is one of Europe's pioneering hydrogen cities with many exciting projects in the pipeline.
In 2015, the city council published the Aberdeen Hydrogen Strategy which outlines its key actions and commitments over 10 years to ensure it is a world class energy hub leading a low carbon economy and is at the forefront of hydrogen technology.

Aberdeen is home to the world's first fleet of double decker hydrogen-powered buses, the zero-emission buses, which save one kilogram of CO2 per kilometre, are part of the wider H2 Aberdeen project led by Aberdeen City Council.

St Andrews

The University of St Andrews received a £300,000 investment from the Scottish government to establish a new hydrogen accelerator initiative.

The programme will draw on the university's expertise, as well as partnerships with institutions across Scotland, and will help propel innovations in hydrogen technology, encourage knowledge-sharing and to help maximise the economic opportunities from the shift to zero or ultra-low emission mobility solutions.

The hydrogen accelerator initiative will increase expert capacity to advise on transport focussed hydrogen projects, improve coordination between ongoing key initiatives and conducting expert analysis to foster new partnerships between industry and government.

To find out more about Scotland's hydrogen sector and key developments visit -