Hydrogen could be Scotland's 'greatest opportunity since oil and gas'

Energy secretary Michael Matheson has insisted hydrogen could be 'at the centre of the economy'.

Hydrogen could be Scotland’s greatest industrial opportunity since oil and gas, says MSP Michael Matheson iStock

Scotland could have its “greatest industrial opportunity since oil and gas” if the hydrogen sector sees a boost in growth, the country’s energy secretary has said.

MSP Michael Matheson has insisted hydrogen can be used to help Scotland meet its net zero targets as it can be used to fuel generating electricity or heat.

A recent paper setting out the Scottish Government’s plans for the economics of an independent Scotland, sets out how hydrogen and other renewable energies could be “at the centre of the economy”.

Matheson added that hydrogen also has “significant export potential”.

Last year, the Scottish Government published its draft hydrogen action plan, setting out how to boost the sector with the goal of having five gigawatts (GW) of installed production capacity by 2030 – rising to 25GW by 2045.

This week, Matheson will travel to promote Scottish hydrogen production during European Hydrogen Week.

Speaking ahead of his visit, he said: “Hydrogen may be Scotland’s greatest industrial opportunity since oil and gas.

“It will play a key role in delivering net zero in industrial and heavy transport use and in the domestic economy, potentially heating our homes and buildings and there is significant export potential.”

He continued: “The recently published economy prospectus paper for an independent Scotland sets out how we would put renewable energies, such as hydrogen, at the centre of the economy.

“Scotland is an energy-rich country, becoming independent would give us the powers and levers to reform the energy market and ensure a stronger, more resilient supply with lower costs.

“European Hydrogen Week is an excellent opportunity to showcase everything Scotland has to offer and to work closely with our European friends and partners on the key issues we must collectively address to realise the full potential of hydrogen as part of the green energy transition.”