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Stone invites Rees-Mogg to Cromarty Firth to see 'totally green, totally clean' hydrogen plans

By Gordon Calder

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NORTH MP, Jamie Stone, has invited a senior member of the UK Cabinet to see the work being done to produce and store hydrogen in the Cromarty Firth.

Jamie Stone, who represents the Caithness, Sutherland and easter Ross constituency, lauded the "totally green, totally clean" initiative and invited, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the newly-appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to see the work being done.

Rees-Mogg accepted the invitation and implied that he or one of his ministerial team will take up an offer to visit the constituency.

Jamie Stone has invited Jacob Rees-Mogg to the north. Pic: UK Parliament Jessica Taylor
Jamie Stone has invited Jacob Rees-Mogg to the north. Pic: UK Parliament Jessica Taylor

Mr Stone, a Liberal Democrat MP, said: "Cromarty Firth is home to some well-developed plans for the production and storage of hydrogen. Of course, hydrogen is the perfect answer because when you burn it, you get water. It is totally green and totally clean.

"I would actively encourage members of the Government to take up my offer of a visit to not only observe the hydrogen potential but also other promising sources such as the proposed Cromarty Firth Green Freeport."

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "I think hydrogen is ultimately the silver bullet. I can see how you create it from renewable sources because you have the wind power where people are not drawing on the electricity system.

You use it as an effective battery. And it then can be with some adjustments piped through to people's houses to heat them during the winter. There are real opportunities with hydrogen."

He added: "I don't know if I can promise a visit in the short-term but I'd love to come in principle and my ministers are like the greyhounds in the slips waiting to get up to his constituency."

The Cromarty Firth has been identified as being central to future large-scale production of green hydrogen because of its proximity to existing and planned offshore wind farms, which are needed for the new industry’s development.

Energy giant ScottishPower and Storegga have plans to jointly develop the UK’s largest green hydrogen plant on the Cromarty Firth. The project’s first phase, expected to be operational in 2025, will be capable of producing up to 20 tonnes of green hydrogen a day, to be used in heating processes in nearby distilleries, as well as regional transportation.

The developers have said Green Freeport status for the area would have the potential to bring forward more than £1 billion in a larger-scale plant by up to 10 years and would place the region “firmly at the centre of larger scale production” of the fuel.

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