Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

H2 in Orkney – The Hydrogen Islands

Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the universe but little is freely available as it is usually tied up to make compounds with other chemical elements. Hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis of water (H2O) by using an electric current to split water into it component parts of Hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2).

Orkney has an over-abundance of renewable electricity, which at present is wasted or lost when the electricity grid reaches capacity. One way in which we can negate this waste of electricity is to use it to produce Hydrogen through electrolysis. This allows the surplus renewable energy, which would otherwise be lost, to be stored and used at a later date. The Hydrogen produced acts as an energy storage medium which can be used at a later date to produce heat, power, fuel for use as low carbon transport or for any other purpose. Hydrogen has the additional benefit that it may be used close to where it is generated reducing the need to import fossil fuels.

Generating Hydrogen in Orkney has the potential to turn challenge into opportunity by:

  • Working around the curtailed local renewable energy productions to maximise renewable energy resources.
  • Alleviating the loss of investment for local energy producers.
  • Reducing negative impacts to marine energy innovation.
  • Participation in hydrogen projects her in Orkney (BIGHIT, S’N’T, Dual Ports, On-board vehicle electrolysers).
  • Supporting Orkney communities and support for Orkney companies.
  • Working with a wide variety of partners from Europe.
  • Developing training opportunities provided locally by Orkney College defining the standard excellence in Hydrogen industry standards.
  • Attracting wider investment to the local area.
  • Leading the way for other territories to replicate a hydrogen economy.

Our local ‘Orkney Hydrogen Economic strategy’ will ensure that Orkney is not only playing a part in the reaching sustainability targets set by the EU, Westminster and the Scottish Government but also having an opportunity to guide how such targets are set. The ‘Orkney Hydrogen Economic Strategy’ will further Orkney’s reputation as a forward thinking island community that is able to attract funding for and deliver a range of projects with global significance.

The Orkney Island Council is currently committed to achieving the sustainable low carbon ambitions in its current Council plan. Further information on this can be found in the resources section.

For more information contact Hydrogen Project Officer Adele Lidderdale.