Scientific Alliance Scotland has criticised the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise for wasting £200,000 of taxpayers’ money on a three year feasibility study into the development of a “zero emissions” passenger ferry to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and charged using surplus renewable electricity. Engineers at the Scottish Government quango Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) have been engaged in a long-running feasibility study with other agencies to explore the potential for the technology in a marine environment.
Professor Jack Ponton of the Scientific Alliance Scotland said: “Hydrogen is just about the worst energy carrier one could imagine particularly as a transport fuel. It is difficult to store or distribute and poses serious explosion risks.It is in principle a valuable chemical feedstock, but industry is not geared up to use it in large quantities."
He continued: “Carbon dioxide emissions from island ferries are a negligible part of Scotland’s emissions, which are themselves trivial on a global scale. In other words, this scheme is just a silly idea to use up the taxpayers’ money.”