Port of Cromarty Firth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Norwegian firm Gen2 Energy AS to create a commercial pathway to import green hydrogen from Norway into the UK energy market.
The partnership will provide a security of supply for the Cromarty Firth’s own plans for a largescale electrolyser facility, and will guarantee green hydrogen to those who want access to the clean energy by mid-2023, so they have the confidence to make concrete plans to begin switching their infrastructure.
It will also help realise the Scottish Government’s ambition to become a leading hydrogen nation that generates 5GW of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 – enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 1.8 million homes.
The MoU is also a massive boost in the bid to establish a green hydrogen hub in the Cromarty Firth, adding a new international angle to its aim to produce, store and supply hydrogen to the Highland region, other parts of Scotland, the UK and Europe.
The Firth will become the UK transhipment hub for Gen2 Energy’s hydrogen, produced from Norway’s surplus renewable energy, which will be shipped across the North Sea to the Port. Hydrogen would then be distributed to customers across the UK by road, rail and sea.
Port of Cromarty Firth chief executive Bob Buskie said: “This is a historic moment for the Port, and for the move towards green hydrogen as a reliable and secure source of energy in the Highlands, Scotland, and the UK.
“We are on the cusp of another renewable energy revolution, with demand for clean energy rising every year. This MoU can put the Highlands on the map as one of the largest suppliers of clean hydrogen energy in Europe, alongside our established leadership in the onshore and offshore wind markets.
“Norway’s remote northern regions have similar issues to the Highlands in terms of an excess of renewable energy, and constraints on putting that energy into the electricity grid. However, they are significantly more advanced domestically in the production of green hydrogen. The ability to produce and ship hydrogen to new markets is a huge opportunity for them and they see the Port as a key partner to the UK market. This will give companies throughout Scotland, and indeed the UK, the confidence to switch their infrastructure to clean energy sources, accelerating the decarbonisation process.”
He added: “Through this Memorandum of Understanding, we have the potential to not only distribute green hydrogen but develop our own substantial production infrastructure, allowing Scotland to retain its position as a global frontrunner in clean energy. It will also have a positive effect on Scotland’s energy transition plans and provide skilled jobs and business opportunities for decades to come.”
Jonas Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of Gen2 Energy, said: “We are very pleased to sign this MoU with Port of Cromarty Firth. The agreement marks a significant milestone in the creation of a value chain for hydrogen between Norway and the UK, resulting in significant environmental and social benefits as we move towards a net zero emission society.
“Gen2 Energy is working diligently to build large-scale production and distribution of green hydrogen with zero emissions through the value chain. Together with Port of Cromarty Firth, we are able to provide customers with easily adaptable plug and play solutions for green hydrogen and ensure supply security from multiple production locations.”