MAJOR NEWS: World’s first tidal-powered hydrogen generated in Scotland after £3 million funding from SNP Government


This could turn out to be a key moment in the move toward 100% reliable renewable energy use. Tidal power generation is constant and powerful. Hydrogen is ‘green’. Hydrogen can be stored. Hydrogen can be used to power all sorts of vehicles such as Aberdeen and London’s buses. See:

As world’s largest tidal energy plant in Pentland Firth generates 1GWh which is enough for 700 000 homes, will Scotland become the most energy-rich country in Europe?

I hope you’re not getting fed-up hearing about Scottish renewable energy records but here’s another

Storing Scotland’s massive renewable energy production

Suddenly there’s a brilliant alternative to oil rig decommissioning costs. You can store Scotland’s surplus renewable electricity with it and it’s low-tech.

For the first time anywhere in the world, the Scottish Government’s £3 million-funded European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has produced hydrogen gas using electricity generated from tidal energy, in Orkney. Here’s how it works as explained in the EMEC report

‘By harnessing the power of the tide at EMEC’s tidal energy test site at the Fall of Warness, Eday, Orkney, prototype tidal energy converters – Scotrenewables’ SR2000 and Tocardo’s TFS and T2 turbine – fed power into an electrolyser situated next to EMEC’s onshore substation. Supplied by ITM Power, the electrolyser uses the electricity to split water (H2O) into its component parts – hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). The electrolyser is housed in a standard 20’ by 10’ ISO container with hydrogen generation capacity of up to 220kg/24hours.’

Remember, this was done with electricity from one marine turbine in the Orkneys. There’s a four hundred marine turbine field being built in the Pentland Firth.


21 thoughts on “MAJOR NEWS: World’s first tidal-powered hydrogen generated in Scotland after £3 million funding from SNP Government

  1. macgilleleabhar September 14, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Great news John. I am scanning my old brain hoping to find a trace of a memory of 1960 physics and chemistry to get an inkling of what about a quarter of a ton of hydrogen would look like!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim Chalmers September 14, 2017 / 11:10 am

      220 kg H2 has a volume of 2448 ltres (about 2.5 cubic metres) at STP.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Alasdair Macdonald. September 14, 2017 / 11:46 am

        MacGilleleabhar, your reference to 1960s physics and chemistry evoked a memory from my schooldays at that time when we got a lecture from a visiting academic who described this very thing about electrolysing seawater to release hydrogen and then storing it.

        It was all technologically feasible even in these days. All that stopped it was a lack of political will and the dominance of the oil and motoring lobby.

        This was pre North Sea oil, so I suspect that the idea was dropped into the deepest water in case these Jocks began to get ideas above their station.

        As well as the energy production, the academic also indicated that the procedure would sustain the Clyde shipbuilding industry which was beginning to show signs of decay. Because of the salty environment the electricity generating structures and the transport systems would become corroded and there would have to be a continuous programme of fabrication and replacement. It would mean the shipyards producing a different product, but the actual fabrication skills would be much the same. The yards would have to be modernised for the changed products. Clearly the idea of investment in yards was anathema to the City and to Westminster. Weren’t all these yards full of communists????!!!

        The ecological concerns were not much in evidence in these days although Rachel Carson has already written ‘Silent Spring’. The academic pointed out that the combustion of hydrogen produces water and not CO2. He pointed out that this was climatically good. Again, the potential for CO2 and other products of combustion to affect climate was known.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Alasdair Macdonald. September 14, 2017 / 11:49 am

        I orgot one point: the academic saw the generating arrays being distributed south of Barra almost to the Irish coast. This meant that they were easily accessible for the Yards on the Clyde and in Belfast, and possibly, even, Birkenhead.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Gordon Burgess September 17, 2017 / 6:03 pm

      I remember back in the grey days a guy said he could power the London buses on hydrogen but was ridiculed and the story was the oil magnates bought him out to shut him up! I’m only a plumber but always thought H2O was our saviour. Hydrogen in radiators if you bleed them and light the gas as it fisses out its extremely hot, like ouch and not easy to extinguish (warning) don’t try! Oxygen, well it’s so volatile and you just need to see how rigorous hospitals are with safety, so it’s all around and no drilling or suppositories to store spent waste, no turbines. Win win until I hear different! Well done Scotland!


      • johnrobertson834 September 17, 2017 / 9:07 pm

        Only a plumber? Shit happens without you guys!


  2. Iain Ross September 14, 2017 / 11:32 am

    This is great news but it is a real shame that the likes of the BBC can not be bothered to do a report on it, they are too busy with self generated NHS bad stories to notice this. An even greater sadness is that in an independent Scotland the Government would be all over this trying to get it off the ground but in better together land we have a UK Government that either does not care or is actively trying to undermine these types of developments (take your pick, I know which one I think it is). As a result your average Scottish numptie sails on oblivious, like a mushroom in the dark, growing by eating the crap fed to them by the British Nationalist establishment. Still I salute your efforts John, hopefully one day the light shall come on for the masses but I can not help but think we are just preaching to the converted at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jimbo September 14, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    Fantastic news. The good news just keeps on coming. This will have the Yoon hacks once again reaching for their poison pens – assuming of course they report this good news to Scotland’s people in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ross September 14, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    Can hydrogen be safely and practicably stored and used?


    • Alasdair Macdonald. September 15, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Referring to my comments above and to the academic making the presentation, he was quite clear that in the 1960s that hydrogen could be stored and transported pretty easily using contemporary technology. My knowledge of chemistry is no longer at the level it was back in these days, but I can remember that he was asked about storage and gave what appeared to us to be an entirely plausible answer.

      During WW2 a number of vehicles were converted to run on gas. They were on the streets of our towns and cities.

      The oil lobby and its propagandists in the media always trumpet the alleged dangers of all other fuels except their own (and nuclear).


      • Alasdair Macdonald. September 15, 2017 / 9:48 am

        This thread has been quite good for reassuring me that the grey cells are not atrophied as recollections keep popping into my head!

        Combustible gases like hydrogen, methane, propane etc are only explosive when the mixture of the gas with air/oxygen reaches a certain proportion. Otherwise, they burn in a safe controlled way. For example, our gas cookers burn the fuel in a controlled way, but if a tap is left on unlit if the flame is blown out, the mix in the kitchen can reach the explosion threshold and an activity like turning on the light, which produces a tiny spark, can be enough to trigger explosive combustion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ian White May 2, 2019 / 10:53 pm

        If Petrol was invented as a fuel today, I doubt it would be acceptable as ‘far too flammable’ for health and safety regs.


  5. Contrary September 15, 2017 / 7:41 am

    We have some really good technical folks commenting here, eh John? Thanks to everyone for the good extra information. See, quality, not quantity matters! (When you reply to me ,,, ‘but quantity has a quality all of its own’ ,,, I’ll know you are well along the road to recovery 🙂 ) . I admit to being curious about your readership numbers, I promise to not accuse you of obsessing if you tell us some stats?

    A colleague at work yesterday – he has a history of making comments on the BBC website and getting infuriated by the responses, so he deleted his account about 6 months ago after I badgered him about his health and I was bleating on about how many lies they tell, how biased they are and how the comments are just bots or paid agent provocateurs – anyway, he now came out with “You know. I think, that the BBC website, might, be, biased” ,,,, aaaarrrrggghhh, does no one believe a word I say?! This is why I know I would be no use for going out campaigning – this man is already a fully paid up member of full-on independence for Scotland, and still I couldn’t convince him. At least he has been thinking about it, and has come to realise that the view has some substance – slowly and carefully, one person at a time. I could have been kinder in my response. (‘Duh’, sarcasm, and lots of eye rolling). The good thing about an open plan office is that others may accidentally overhear such conversations and become suspicious. So I am going to claim 3 converts, randomly, without evidence.

    The observation that spurred this comment was ‘they only ever have comments open on negative articles, and they always seem to be anti-Scottish, and the comments are raving anti-Scottish,’ – I don’t read the classic news websites, except a bit of guardian occasionally, so I have to take his word for it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 September 15, 2017 / 10:03 am

      Yes, it’s been really helpful for me as someone with only sketchy understanding of science. Three Converts? I award you my badge of honour.


  6. tomforbes0943 September 15, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Good news on the one hand but it means Westminster will redouble its efforts to hold on to Scotland. We must get out of this effing union sooner rather than later!


    • johnrobertson834 September 15, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Yes, they will but much of the English public wants us out too and they need to keep them onside.


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