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GreeNH3 secures UK government funding for hydrogen storage tech

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The revolutionary GreeNH3 project has promised to transform the ammonia production process and usher in a new era of green hydrogen storage and distribution.

Ammonia – produced using hydrogen and nitrogen – is critically important in the production of fertiliser and as a fuel or energy carrier for hydrogen. However, the world’s largest ammonia production technologies use hydrogen from fossil fuel sources, with the majority of the carbon emissions generated in the hydrogen production method.

The GreeNH3 project will use Supercritical’s proprietary high-pressure electrolyser – powered by renewable energy – to deliver hydrogen without the need for gas compressors. This will then be used in Proton Ventures’ NFuel unit where the green hydrogen, under extremely high pressures, is combined with nitrogen from the air to produce ammonia.

Moving ammonia production to a greener process powered by renewable energy will not only help reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels; it could also help stabilise future energy costs for industry by breaking the link with the volatile gas market, which has seen prices reach unprecedented levels in recent months.

ScottishPower will operate the pilot facility, providing operator and market feedback – it is already exploring the export of green hydrogen or ammonia from the UK to countries like Germany through the Scot2Ger initiative.

The funding from the UK Government, supplied under the Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 Competition, aims to support innovation in the supply of hydrogen, reduce the costs of supplying hydrogen, bring new solutions to the market, and ensure that the UK continues to develop world-leading technologies for a future hydrogen economy. It follows on from the first Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply Competition. The competition forms part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

Barry Carruthers, Hydrogen Director at ScottishPower, said: “Innovative solutions like this are driving forward the clean fuels revolution, bringing green hydrogen and ammonia to markets that may not have realised there is a greener alternative, giving them a chance to do their bit for Net Zero. We’re looking forward to working with our partners on this study and hopefully demonstrating a more sustainable, cost-efficient way of producing ammonia.”

Luke Tan, Chief Product Officer at Supercritical, said: “Supercritical’s electrolyser is a hand in glove fit with the Haber-Bosch process. This demonstration opportunity will prove that, enabling a new market for green ammonia.”

Nitish Gadgil, Project Manager at Proton Ventures, said: “Proton Ventures is proud and excited to partner up with Supercritical and ScottishPower for this innovative GreeNH3 project. Our modular NFuel unit produces green ammonia, which is the most promising green hydrogen carrier and we strongly believe that this study contributes in kickstarting the green hydrogen economy.”

Energy Minister Greg Hands said: “The UK is truly leading the world in hydrogen innovation thanks to exciting efforts like this. The government support received today will help to boost the development of hydrogen as the clean, affordable, homegrown superfuel of the future.”

School kids want to see more renewables usage post COP26

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Young people (aged 6-15) across the UK want to see more clean energy powering the country and people taking personal responsibility to protect the planet, including the use of more renewables in schools.

The call for a cleaner and greener future came from independent YouGov research commissioned by ScottishPower Renewables during the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference, held in Glasgow last month.

YouGov asked over 1,000 British children aged 6 – 15 years for their thoughts on UK climate action and what was needed to tackle the climate crisis.

More than three-quarters (81 per cent) of those responding called for more renewable energy to be used, while 58 per cent said it was up to “everyone” to make sure the planet is protected.

Young people surveyed also said COP26 had inspired them to take action themselves to help the environment, with 53 per cent committing to recycling more and over one third (35 per cent) saying they would ditch the car in favour of active travel options like cycling and walking.

And they called on schools to take action too, with demands for the introduction of more wind turbines and solar panels to power their schools (59%) and more lessons about climate change (42%).

The YouGov findings echo feedback from secondary school pupils who took part in ScottishPower Renewables’ COP26 ‘Let’s Talk Energy’ event, where green jobs and more investment to create clean energy were identified as what’s needed to deliver a low-carbon future.

Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “As a Principal Partner for COP26 and lead for the conference’s youth theme, ScottishPower recognises the importance of listening to young people.  Every action taken today will impact their future and it’s vital that they therefore have their say on what they want for a cleaner and greener future.

“This survey shows that children and young people understand the climate emergency and recognise that renewable energy has a crucial part to play as we move forward, electrify our lives and reduce our carbon footprint. We fully support the call for more renewable energy and we’re doing everything we can to make it happen – investing almost £4 billion to double our current renewables capacity by 2025, with plans to treble it by 2030.

“Importantly, the survey also shows that young people know we all have the power to make a real difference to the environment by making changes in how we live our lives. Whether that’s in how we travel around, the food we eat or the clothes we wear – it all matters – and it’s great that COP is inspiring such positive action from young people.

“With human behaviour responsible for many of the changes to our planet, the only way we’ll be successful in tackling the climate emergency is by everyone joining in and doing their bit. Young people understand that – it’s something we can all learn from and something that can give us all hope for a clean energy future.”

As part of its COP26 education programme, ScottishPower Renewables is also working with Glasgow Science Centre on a Renewables Challenge for 124 primary schools and 10 secondary schools. Through the programme pupils learn about COP26, renewable energy, green jobs and going carbon neutral.