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Scottish Government Throws More Taxpayers’ Money Away on “Zero Emissions” Ferry

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.”

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The Scientific Alliance recently published part 1 of an examination of National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios, dealing with security of supply. We are now pleased to publish part 2 - cost of supply. The authors - Dr Capell Aris and Colin Gibson - conclude that building more gas and nuclear stations would be considerably less expensive than any of the NG scenarios, as well as offering better energy security.

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