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De-centralised Green Hydrogen Production Site Identification and Opportunities Study


Scottish Enterprise (SE) in partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) appointed Ironside Farrar Ltd. to undertake an assessment of potential de-centralised green hydrogen production locations across Scotland, with an emphasis on utilising constrained renewable energy. The aim of the study was to highlight a range of opportunities across Scotland where core site requirements around land, power and water could potentially be developed for the decentralised production of green hydrogen using currently constrained renewable energy for electrolysis to provide a low or no-cost source of energy to feed localised green hydrogen production.


Ironside Farrar conducted a focused review of existing or currently planned renewable energy projects, identifying where these are constrained by grid capacity, and where these locations align with other requirements for decentralised green hydrogen production. The study was prepared with the following parameters and objectives: identifying and mapping renewable energy generation locations across Scotland, with particular focus on identifying those locations where generation is constrained, or subject to curtailment; spatial and geographic analysis of constrained renewable energy generation locations relative to core green hydrogen production requirements; reviewing potential for decentralised green hydrogen production at small-medium scale, within an approximate range of 10MW to 100MW (with the scale of production driven by the availability of input energy). Ironside Farrar developed the study in coordination with SE, SOSE, and HIE, using available National Grid / Scottish Power Energy Networks / Scottish Southern Electricity Networks data, other publicly available resources, with technical input and advice from Scottish Water (SW) and Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) on their respective utility networks.


Large areas of the electrical transmission and distribution network in Scotland experience ‘constraint’ meaning they operate close to their operational limits and require energy generators to reduce (‘curtail’) their output to maintain stability. Reinforcement and upgrade of grid capacity is ongoing by National Grid (NG) and Distribution Network Operators (SPEN / SSEN) but will be unable to match the anticipated further growth of renewable generation. As a result, constraint will continue over the medium-longer term. From the analysis of constrained renewable energy generation locations, a ‘shortlist’ of sites that could be suitable for decentralised green hydrogen production have been identified and mapped. Potential clusters have been identified in: Dumfries & Galloway; South & East Ayrshire; South Lanarkshire; East Lothian & Borders; South Lanarkshire & West Lothian; Loch Ness; Cromarty & Ross-Shire; and Orkney & Shetland Isles.


The report identifies several clusters that meet the criteria for the potential of viable decentralised green hydrogen production which would require further consideration, investigation and engagement between development agencies and wider partners for future development.

Author Ironside Farrar Ltd
Published Year 2023
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
  • Equity
    Sustainable development