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#H2Explainer: How can decarbonising Scotland’s industry create high-tech, green jobs?

20 September 2021

Press contacts for journalists

Ed Gill

Communications Lead, Gas Goes Green

+44 (0)20 4599 7684

edward.gill@energynetworks.org

ENA Press Office

press@energynetworks.org

In north-east and central Scotland, local gas distribution network SGN is leading the way in decarbonising heavy industry.

Our recent Gas Goes Green Innovation Impacts report set out how 17,000 high-tech, green engineering jobs could be created by network companies and supply chain partners in Britain’s industrial heartlands in the next ten years, through hydrogen innovation projects.

SGN, the local gas distribution network for Scotland, has submitted innovation project proposals as part of its business plan to the energy regulator, Ofgem, to invest £2.1bn in decarbonising heavy industry in Scotland’s north-east and central belt, which is home to some of its largest industrial carbon emitters.

As we set out in the Innovation Impacts report, that could create over 4,200 jobs being created by energy networks in the next ten years, with another 3,500 being created by the supply chain partners.

This area’s reliance on natural gas means that it emits 11.9Mt of CO2 emissions per year – that’s the equivalent of 2.6 million cars, or roughly all the cars in Scotland.

SGN’s North-East Network and Industrial Cluster project is laying the foundations for the rapid decarbonisation of this high-emitting sector, proposing to demonstrate the feasibility of a 100% renewable hydrogen energy system that will repurpose the existing gas network to reduce those emissions.

Carbon capture, storage and utilisation is at the heart of the project, which will investigate how feasible it will be to develop a collection network to securely capture, transport and store carbon dioxide emissions from industry in the area, deep underground. 

The development of an offshore hydrogen supergrid - linking hydrogen production and potential storage locations with onshore industrial facilities in the rest of the UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium - is also being assessed, as is the potential for other uses for hydrogen such as road freight, rail and maritime transport and, in the long term, aviation.

By outlining the practical steps that will deliver the Scottish Government’s 2045 net zero target, the project will play a significant part in decarbonising heavy industry and help Scotland assert its position as a frontrunner in the hydrogen economy, accelerating the country’s transition to a greener future.

When it comes to decarbonising Scotland’s heavy industry, SGN’s North-East Network and Industrial Cluster project is another example of how tomorrow’s heat is today opportunity.

Notes to editor

Gas Goes Green #H2Explainers are a series of blogs setting all the key information you need to know about how Britain’s gas networks are working to deliver hydrogen to our homes, as part of our 'Tomorrow's Heat, Today's Opportunity' campaign. Check out the ENA Newsroom to find other articles and updates from both gas and electricity network companies.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.

ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.

Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.

What are energy network operators?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).

Press contacts for journalists

Ed Gill

Communications Lead, Gas Goes Green

+44 (0)20 4599 7684

edward.gill@energynetworks.org

ENA Press Office

press@energynetworks.org