Moving Towards Net Zero With A Just Transition

Scotland is to establish a new Just Transmission Commission chaired by Professor Jim Skea CBE. Scotland became  the first country in the world to commit to a Just Transition Planning Framework.

The recommendations from the previous Commission, which was established in 2019, were all accepted in full by the Scottish Government.

Jim Skea said:

“I am honoured to be invited to chair the Just Transition Commission in the next phase of its work. It is gratifying to see our recommendations being taken up so comprehensively by the Scottish Government.

“The challenge now is to turn these recommendations into practical realities, and I look forward to working with fellow Commissioners and the Government on that task.”

One of the areas that has been debated in Orkney is decarbonising our ferries and marine traffic.

Hydrogen in an Integrated Maritime Energy Transition (HIMET)

A 7 month, £2.2 million HIMET (Hydrogen in an Integrated Maritime Energy Transition) project will explore solutions for decarbonising ferries. It will also look at decarbonising shore-side port activities. The project consortium will be led by EMEC Hydrogen in Orkney. HIMET will focus on the decarbonisation of two key local maritime sectors: ferry services and cruise terminal operations. It is funded by the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

To decarbonise ferries, various solutions will be designed and demonstrated including  hydrogen storage specifically intended for use on board a vessel, and the supply of on-board auxiliary power using a hydrogen fuel cell. A conventional ferry propulsion engine will also be tested running on pure hydrogen.

Shapinsay Ferry, Credit David Hibbert Orkney Islands Council

To develop resilient shore-side power for the maritime sector a hydrogen engine will be deployed at Hatston to power crew welfare facilities at the cruise terminal, and microgrid solutions will be explored to consider future power requirements for ferry terminals.

Image credit Bell

James Walker, EMEC’s Hydrogen Development Manager said:

“EMEC foresees significant opportunities in maritime innovation, with hydrogen and hydrogen derivative fuels expected to play a vital role in decarbonising the sector.

“Building on the knowledge and experience from various green hydrogen projects that have instigated the development of a hydrogen economy locally, the HIMET project will showcase emerging and innovative technologies which will help pave the way to decarbonising maritime activities. While the project will focus on addressing challenges in the Orkney context, we believe our findings will be applicable to all island and coastal environments where vessels provide vital lifeline services.

“Orkney has long been a living laboratory for renewable energy and decarbonisation and is well placed to become a centre of excellence in maritime decarbonisation as well.”

Just Transition

Scotland’s Just Transition Commission is key to moving forward to a way that means it is done in a fair and equitable way, as much as possible.

The plans developed in Scotland will be monitored and progress tracked by the Commission to ensure that evidence is provided on actions taken.

The first Just Transition plan will be a Scottish Energy Strategy.

Rendall Doocot with wind turbine in the background Credit Bell

Fiona Grahame

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