Shetland to build hydrogen houses


The fight against climate change has received a boost from a Shetland partnership who have pledged to build the isles' first houses with no carbon footprint by the end of next year.

The “unplugged hydrogen houses”, claimed to be the first in the world, will not be connected to the mains and will solely use wind, solar and renewable hydrogen technology for heating and electricity. The co-operation between the Unst based PURE energy center and the Hjaltland Housing Association (HHA) was endorsed by founder of the microchip processor ARM, Sir Robin Saxby, who was in Shetland to launch the pioneering scheme.

The housing revolution is due to take place on a greenfield site in Eshaness, in Northmavine, overlooking the Drongs, one of Shetland's outstanding beauty spots. Initially two houses are to be built in what Sir Robin described as a “serious feasibility study” to get valuable and reliable data to develop the next step. Over the next 10 years, PURE and HHA hope to become a market leader for a product, that is predicted to have a worldwide appeal. PURE Energy Center managing director Daniel Aklil said the company was to install two combined heat and power (CHP) systems, which could be run on wind as well as solar energy to heat the house.

The wind is also being used to produce hydrogen, which will be stored in a state of the art fuel cell, smaller than a dishwasher, to heat the house at times the wind was not blowing. Plans are also being drawn up for a hydrogen refueling station at the Northmavine site which could power a set of unique hydrogen cars to enable local people to lead lives completely free of environmental impact. “40% of the worldwide population lives with no access to electricity and heat.

The CHP scheme will provide these populations with such access. It will also provide communities around the world with access to clean hydrogen fuel to power clean vehicles,” Aklil said. Sir Robin Saxby said Shetland was the perfect place to start a project to find energy solutions as all the expertise and ingredients were readily available. (Read more)

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