Dr. Nigel Holmes began his presentation by outlining some recent developments including some news items and statistics.
He then looked at the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association and its members activities before turning to the key drivers for change. Global considerations include the cost and security of oil supplies along with climate change threats. At a more local level, Scotland's key drivers include the Scottish Government's target for renewable energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions. Scotland is rich in renewables, with wind and marine energy sources at the forefront. A low carbon economy is seen as a priority.
Next, Dr. Holmes looked at fuel cells, explaining what they are and how they work. Fuel cells are more efficient and use hydrogen as a clean fuel. Hydrogen can be produced using electricity and stored until it is needed. Hydrogen fuel cells have already been used for transport applications including buses. The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project was announced by the First Minister in August 2012 and 10 buses will use "green" hydrogen sourced from renewables.
Another transport application for fuel cells is their use in cars and such vehicles have zero CO2, Nox, Sox and PM10 emissions at the exhaust. There are currently concerns about the range of such vehicles and scarcity of refuelling points, but these points are being addressed by new developments. Other applications for fuel cells include a fuel cell powered tractor and fork lift trucks, ideal for use in warehouses.
Dr. Holmes rounded of his presentation by looking at the recent industry news and pointed out that global CO2 levels are now at levels that are likely to have a major climatic impact.
Click here to download a copy of Dr. Homes presentation (PDF format - 2.5Mb)
Report by John Fender.
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