The Challenge of an Innovative Project

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Today’s guest on Sustainable is David Hogg, Technical Manager at Bright Green Hydrogen.

David starts the show by explaining that the Levenmouth community energy project is primarily a business community energy project. There are currently three buildings on a wire network all connected to the same renewable energy source and the project is expanding this by adding another five buildings to the micro grid.

It also focuses on creating a hydrogen energy storage system, particularly useful in remote island settings, to stores renewable energy as hydrogen which converts this to electricity through a fuel cell.

This energy storage system helps alleviate the problem of putting renewable energy into the main grid, which could cause problems in supply.

The storage system is to be used in hydrogen vehicles, which are the part of the project that’s closest to commercial viability. They are creating a fleet of seventeen vehicles, ten of which will be leased out to businesses in the local community.

Key partners in doing this are Fife Council; who are leasing seven cars and creating a hydrogen fuelling station near their headquarters, Toshiba; who are writing the software; and Logan Energy; who are installing the hydrogen system and refuelling stations.

It will be operational by the end of July, 2016, although it’s been a challenge to meet deadlines.

Eighteen months ago the government announced it would slash feeding tariffs on solar energy. This meant the original plan of installing solar panels to generate additional energy at the site needed to be adapted and costs from one part of the project had to be absorbed through other areas.

David suggests any company looking to implement sustainable practices in their organisation to carry out a full life cycle of the project and look at the savings as well as the cost. He notes that carbon reduction targets look good as part of your PR and branding and that its important when applying for government tenders.

His key piece of advice is to look for ways to cut usage, which is a very quick and cheap gain for a company and also to choose what sustainable practices you’re going to adopt based on the resources you have available as well as the environment surrounding you.

David talks also about being part of the 2050 climate group, who are empowering, educating and engaging the next generation of leaders in Scotland to be able to make the correct decisions in the future so that we can build a better world.

You’ll also find out how his life has been impacted by his passion for renewable energy and more about the great potential within Scotland for renewable energy, which saw it set ambitious targets for using renewable energy within the country.

David most admires:

Stephen Hawking

David’s favourite resource:

People who are engaged, empowered and educated in sustainability

Research Mentioned in the Interview:

Plants in office can increase productivity by 38%

Nature really has its own capital and you need to take that into account when you’re making decisions.David Hogg
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