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MEP: hydrogen success shows why we have to engage with EU

Aberdeen's self-promotion as European test-bed for hydrogen-powered technology is a shining example of the benefits of EU engagement, MEP Alyn Smith claims.

Referring to its Smart Aberdeen 2020 growth plan and the positive reaction to November's Brussels launch of Aberdeen's H2 Hydrogen strategy, Smith, who chaired the launch, praised city leaders' work. They have been rewarded with €9.3 million European Commission cash to buy Europe's largest fleet of hydrogen-powered buses.

He said: "As Europe's biggest energy hub Aberdeen is uniquely well-placed to lead the development of hydrogen technology. I am confident that the scheme will play a vital role in bringing the benefits of energy expertise to ordinary Aberdonians.

"The funding that Aberdeen has secured is a shining example of how a city can gain recognition across Europe for its expertise simply by being proactive in the EU arena."

Scotland's first hydrogen buses are expected on Aberdeen's streets early next year, with hopes they can be rolled out to other Scottish cities. Using hydrogen in the city's district heating system and putting it in into the gas grid is also being considered.

Council leader Barney Crockett said: "We are determined to define the image of an international 21st-century energy city and to lead a leaner, cleaner industrial revolution. Hydrogen technology and transport will play a large part in that vision and the council and its partners have a strong role to play in realising that."

H2 hydrogen projects include the Scottish Cities Alliance Hydrogen Strategy and Hyacinth project to increase social acceptance of hydrogen technologies.

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