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Energy Efficient Hydrogen Office and Demonstration Center Planned for Scotland

Plans for a world leading, energy efficient Hydrogen office and Demonstration Centre have been unveiled for Fife's flagship Energy Park in Methil, today 15 January 2007.

The £2.77million development, which is expected to be complete later this year, will result in a state-of-the-art office unit and demonstration centre powered by a innovative renewable energy and hydrogen fuel cell energy solution, illustrating the role that energy efficiency, renewables and hydrogen can play in reducing the impact of climate change and reducing future dependence on imported energy.

It will become a world leading demonstration project integrating well proven renewable energy technologies (solar, wind and geothermal source heat pumps) with hydrogen and fuel cell energy storage technologies.

The project, joint funded by Scottish Enterprise, Alsherra Investments and the European Regional Development Fund from the East of Scotland Programme, will work towards meeting the Scottish Executive's targets which will see 18 per cent of Scotland's electricity generated by renewables by 2010 rising to 40 per cent by 2020.

It is anticipated that the project will result in considerable economic benefits for Scotland's economy over the next 25 years with potential creation of up to 1350 new jobs and up to £81million in gross value add (GVA) through new businesses starting up to further develop, manufacture, assemble, install and maintain hydrogen and renewable energy powered office facilities.

Joe Noble, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise Fife, said: "Novel energy systems and the emerging hydrogen and fuel cell sectors offer substantial prospects for Scotland. Investing in this world-leading demonstration project will mean that we can start to realise some of the benefits which these new industries will bring, not just in commercialising new technology but in developing know-how about how to put these complex energy systems together and make them work effectively.

"We are confident that this project will attract international interest - the Energy Park and this new Hydrogen Office will help ensure that Fife and Scotland are at the front of world developments to provide energy solutions for the future."

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen said:

"Hydrogen and fuel cell technology is one of the most exciting developments to come from the renewables sector in recent years. Last month I opened a £1.5 million fund to develop projects such as these as part of a strategy to develop clean, green energy in Scotland.

"I am determined to make Scotland a European powerhouse for renewable energy and I wish Scottish Enterprise Fife well for this new project."

Derek Mitchell, project manager for the Hydrogen Office Demonstration Centre said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland to develop a world leading renewable hydrogen demonstration project, promoting the importance of energy efficiency, renewables and hydrogen in reducing the impact of climate change and the UK's growing dependence on imported energy supplies."

The development of hydrogen fuel cell industry worldwide is at an early stage, however, many experts agree that hydrogen will become the preferred energy vector for the future.

An event and open day will take place in Thomson House at Methil Docks Business Park on Monday 22 January from 10.30am to 5pm followed by a public meeting at 7.30pm to provide the opportunity to learn more about the plans for Fife's Energy Park and the broader opportunities available from renewable energy technologies such as hydrogen, fuel cells and wave energy.

Two hydrogen shows will take place at 11am and 3pm to demonstrate the properties of hydrogen and illustrate the benefits and opportunities provided by hydrogen technologies. A series of presentations will be delivered from Scottish Enterprise, The Hydrogen Office and world-leading renewable energy company, Ocean Power Delivery amongst others. A guided tour of the Fife Energy Park will also be available for interested parties.

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