Home Environment Scotland establishes hydrogen accelerator at University of St Andrews

Scotland establishes hydrogen accelerator at University of St Andrews

A new hydrogen accelerator will be located at the University of St Andrews in a £300,000 investment by the Scottish government.

The new initiative, which will draw on the expertise of the university and other institutions across Scotland, will help maximise the economic opportunities from the shift to zero or ultra-low emission mobility solutions.  It will achieve this by increasing expert capacity to advise on transport-focussed hydrogen projects, improving coordination between ongoing key initiatives and conducting expert analysis to foster new partnerships between industry and government.

This project directly supports the Scottish government’s commitment to its net-zero target of 2045. Additionally, the work of the hydrogen accelerator will also support the ambition of phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

Connecting the project to expertise at other Scottish universities, relevant centres and initiatives, including the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc and Power Networks Distribution Centre, will assist with the development of a strategic hydrogen workforce to support Scotland’s green recovery.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity in the Scottish government, said: “I’m pleased that we can establish a new Hydrogen Accelerator for Scotland at the University of St Andrews. With their renowned specialism in hydrogen technologies and innovation – this is a perfect match at a time when there is really exciting work in the sector taking place across Scotland.

“We already boast several world-leading demonstrator projects.  These include Aberdeen’s Hydrogen Bus projects and the wide-ranging Orkney projects drawing on marine renewable energy to provide hydrogen for power generation, heating buildings and powering vehicles.  With abundant renewable energy resources and a strong engineering skills base, Scotland is in a strong position to develop a globally competitive hydrogen sector.

“By establishing this hydrogen accelerator at the University of St Andrews, we’re ensuring that hydrogen technologies can be successfully implemented in an economically sustainable way to achieve Scotland’s decarbonisation and net-zero ambitions. I wish Professor John Irvine and his team at St Andrews every success in supporting our flourishing hydrogen sector.”

In reply, Professor John Irvine from the University of St Andrews said: “It is excellent news that we can now launch the Hydrogen Accelerator for Scotland. We look forward to the accelerator team engaging with and mentoring hydrogen activities across the country so that we can best deliver a hydrogen enabled low-carbon economy.

“Hydrogen will be very important in our low-carbon future, and we have considerable expertise at St Andrews in these kind of technologies. The accelerator will be located at our new Eden Campus development where we will be supporting the commercialisation of new technologies in energy conversion and storage, including hydrogen. It’s a great opportunity for us to engage with Scottish companies who are breaking into these new markets.”

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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