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£62m support package

Bamford: energy fund may support hydrogen power plan

Keen to talk: Jo Bamford

Wealthy industrialist Jo Bamford says a new £62 million fund for green energy development could help him set up a hydrogen power plant in Aberdeen.

The JCB heir has already announced ambitions for a UK-wide fleet of hydrogen-fuelled buses after buying vehicle manufacturer Wright Bus.

He now wants to work with the Scottish Government and local authorities to make Aberdeen a world leader in hydrogen on the back of the Scottish Government’s newly-announced Energy Transition Fund.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the fund during her daily briefing and said it would help the country’s move to a net carbon zero future.

Major projects to be considered for funding include a Global Underwater Hub, Net Zero Solution Centre projects, a Hydrogen Hub, the Acorn project and an Energy Transition Zone.

Mr Bamford, executive chairman of Ryse, said: “The Energy Transition Fund will be critical in attracting private investment in exciting new technologies.

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“Ryse Hydrogen is exploring numerous opportunities to set up a green hydrogen production plant in the Aberdeen area, and our partners Wrightbus are already committed to delivering hydrogen powered buses to the city later this year.

“We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and local authorities to make the North East of Scotland a world leader in hydrogen.”

Mr Bamford, earlier this year announced his vision to deliver 3,000 state-of-the-art hydrogen powered buses across the UK by 2024, which he believes will kick start the green hydrogen economy, potentially creating 1,000 green jobs.

Ms Sturgeon said it was important to provide more support for the energy sector and also announced an Energy Transition Zone in Aberdeen for the manufacture and development of low carbon technologies.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack said the new financial support for the energy sector would help ensure the recovery did not obstruct progress towards climate change targets.

She said that creating a fund to help the energy sector accelerate its transition to net-zero emissions “is welcome, particularly in its reiteration of the importance of pursuing a ‘green, low-carbon recovery’ from the coronavirus pandemic.”

She added: “It is vital that recovery does not ‘lock-in’ fossil fuel extraction, as we have seen in the aftermath of previous economic shocks.

“Doing so would endanger progress towards our climate targets and miss out on the opportunity to use renewable energy technologies to increase wellbeing and deliver increased socio-economic opportunity across Scotland.”

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