The Orkney Islands – preparing for a hydrogen economy

The technology itself for producing hydrogen is moving very quickly from theory to practice. As this happens, the focus will shift onto more practical considerations e.g. costs, logistics, preparedness, and many others.

The Orkney Islands looks like it is particularly leading the way when it comes to hydrogen.

See the first of three videos about hydrogen and the Orkney Islands here.

Electricity is generated from wind and tidal power. Any excess is then fed into electrolysers which produce hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored and then transported elsewhere for use.

The Orkney Islands’ big challenge is how to use hydrogen for the boats which they use for inter-islands and mainland travel. They use 3 million litres of diesel every year on their ferries. Presently they can only use hydrogen to power the auxiliary systems on each ferry. The goal is to use hydrogen power as the source of energy for sailing.

With that goal in mind, hydrogen electrolysers will be put onto their existing diesel-only ferries. To do this, the crews of the boats needed to be educated in how to handle hydrogen. A specialist course is being created at a local Orkney college.

When it’s eventually time to replace their ferries, the infrastructure and education will already be in place to make it an easy transition.

So, people, keep note!