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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 00:55 GMT
'Leading' energy centre unveiled
Artist's impression of the office
The development will take place at the Fife Energy Park
Plans for a world-leading hydrogen office project, powered by efficient renewable energy sources, are to be unveiled in Methil.

A state-of-the-art Hydrogen Office and demonstration centre are part of a 2.77m development at Fife Energy Park using hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The project will work towards meeting the Scottish Executive's renewable energy targets of 18%.

It is expected that the centre will be completed by the end of the year.

Renewable energy sources demonstrated at the centre, which is supported by Scottish Enterprise, will include solar, wind and geothermal source heat pumps.

In the hydrogen demonstration centre, hydrogen will be generated through electrolysis by passing an electric current through water to break it down into hydrogen and oxygen.

The hydrogen will then be stored in gas cylinders until it is needed to supplement wind power at times of low wind and high energy demand.

I am determined to make Scotland a European powerhouse for renewable energy
Nichol Stephen
Deputy First Minister

It is anticipated that over the next 25 years the project will lead to the creation of up to 1,350 new jobs and generate up to 81m worth of new businesses.

Joe Noble, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise Fife, said: "Novel energy systems and the emerging hydrogen and fuel cell sectors offer substantial prospects for Scotland.

"Investing in this world-leading demonstration project will mean that we can start to realise some of the benefits which these new industries will bring, not just in commercialising new technology but in developing know-how about how to put these complex energy systems together and make them work effectively."

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen claimed hydrogen and fuel cell technology was one of the most exciting recent developments in the renewables sector.

"I am determined to make Scotland a European powerhouse for renewable energy and I wish Scottish Enterprise Fife well for this new project," he added.

The development of hydrogen fuel cell industry worldwide is at an early stage, but many experts believe that it will become the preferred energy source in years to come.

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