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Green transport

Scotland is at the forefront of the global shift to zero emissions mobility, offering the ideal location for sustainable transport projects right across the sector. We have the resources, expertise and determination to rise to the challenges of the climate emergency, and we’re ready to support your green transport project.

Did you know?

Scotland was the first country in the world to declare the climate change emergency and pass world-leading climate change legislation.

  • 2040 goal

    to fully decarbonise flights in Scotland.

  • 56% reduction

    in transport carbon emissions by 2030.

  • 2035 goal

    to reduce emissions from Scotland’s passenger transport in railways to zero.

What Scotland can offer your green transport project

Transport is currently the largest contributor to harmful climate emissions in Scotland, but our commitment to a net zero future means companies that invest here can benefit from strong and proactive government legislation designed to boost the scale and pace of the decarbonisation of transport. 

These policies and targets are driving market growth and creating huge opportunities for innovative companies.

When you locate in Scotland, you become part of a dynamic business environment with a connected infrastructure, where local and national government, industry and academia collaborate to quickly drive change.  

A perfect testing environment

With highly populated urban centres, sparsely populated islands and a combination of mountainous and coastal terrain, Scotland is an ideal living lab for the development, testing and scale-up of new technology.  

We’ve already made good progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by deploying renewables, and the Scottish Government has now committed to take radical steps to decarbonise transport in Scotland.

With this strong public sector support, we’re actively seeking ambitious companies to locate in Scotland and to work with us as we reduce transport emissions in Scotland, the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond.  

Find the right location for your business 

A future-proof workforce 

By locating in Scotland, you’ll benefit from ambitious skills initiatives that will ensure your workforce has the right skills at the right time as we transition to a net zero future together:

  • The Energy Skills Partnership – a collaboration of Scotland’s colleges and industry partners to provide the skills required by the energy, engineering and construction sectors to achieve Scotland’s energy transition and hydrogen economy.
  • Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan – ensures Scotland’s workforce has the skills needed for the transition to a net zero economy and the new job opportunities it will create.
  • National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA) – supports the changing needs of the energy industry by providing access to new skills and capabilities required for delivering net zero.
  • Integrated People and Skills Strategy – a joined-up approach to people and skills across the offshore energy industry, designed to meet the commitments of the North Sea Transition Deal.
  • NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy – an advanced manufacturing training and development centre to transform the workforce of today and tomorrow through its CPD courses, foundation apprenticeships and graduate training.

More about Scotland's people, skills and recruitment 

A supportive business environment 

When you choose Scotland, you become part of something much bigger. One of the things that sets Scotland apart from the rest is our globally recognised public and private sector partnership approach to achieve a shared industry ambition. 

Here are just a few key organisations that are ready to help you connect with our existing company base:

  • Transport Scotland – the national transport agency, which plays a crucial role in shaping and implementing policies related to low-carbon transport, as well as initiatives to promote public transportation, active travel, and the adoption of electric vehicles.
  • Transform Scotland – the national alliance for sustainable transport, bringing together organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors, to shape and develop sustainable transport policy.
  • Scottish Renewables – an influential trade organisation which promotes renewable energy solutions across all sectors, including electrification and sustainable practices in the transport sector. 

A cost-efficient location

Large scale renewable energy resources such as wind, wave and tidal are now being linked to storage and markets in the UK and Europe. Scotland some of the highest capacity factors.

Efficient energy storage will help unlock the potential to use Scotland’s abundant natural resource to power our transport requirements.

As such, there are plans to locate hydrogen production close to wind farms, which will use surplus electricity to reduce cost of hydrogen, making your low carbon transport project more cost efficient.

Businesses setting up in Scotland’s Green Freeports can benefit from a package of customs and tax incentives as well as major investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation. 

Find out more about Scotland's Green Freeports 

Pioneering projects

Scotland is already home to many ambitious low-carbon transport projects, meaning you’ll benefit from a supportive ecosystem and network of like-minded companies and organisations from the moment you set up here. 

We’ve led the way in demonstrating numerous zero-emission transport solutions, driven by our integrated energy policy and world-leading emissions targets, whilst demonstrating our renowned expertise in innovation and invention.   

Scotland's Green Transport opportunities

Scotland's sustainable aviation market is set to boom, with UK domestic aviation aiming for net zero by 2040, ahead of the global 2050 target. This presents vast opportunities, from innovation and manufacturing to sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), projected to create a $14 billion market by 2030.  
When you locate in Scotland you’ll find a thriving aviation sector, already strategically positioned to address this global market. You’ll benefit from our world-leading industry expertise in commercial aircraft supply chains and a skilled workforce. 

For SAF projects, you can tap into our advanced petrochemical industry and infrastructure, as well as our huge green hydrogen production potential from our vast offshore wind capacity.     
Across aviation there are immediate opportunities to be part of our evolving supply chain:   

  • Sustainable aviation fuel including bio-fuels, fuel-mixing, electro-fuels, and alternative fuels.
  • Lightweighting of materials, composites and components for fuel-efficient new-generation aircraft.   
  • Manufacturing of aircraft parts and components.  
  • Testing of electric and hydrogen fuel sources for small regional aircraft, operated in Scotland’s rural and island communities.
  • Development of electric, hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft.    

Some of the existing aviation projects include:

  • Spirit AeroSystems Aerospace Innovation Centre (AIC) – a global centre for design and digital manufacturing of current and future aircraft, through collaboration, innovation and skills.  
  • Boeing Metallics Research Centre – a major R&D programme with the Advanced Forming Research Centre to explore novel manufacturing technologies for metallic components. 
  • Project Martin – World record RAF flight explored the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels as a possible solution to reducing fossil fuels.
  • Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) – the UK's first low carbon test location at an operational airport in the Orkney Islands.
  • HyFlyer 2 Test Flight – First flight test using a hydrogen electric engine by Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre - a joint programme by Aeristech and ZeroAvia.

Scotland offers unrivalled opportunities to decarbonise our maritime transport and other Blue Economy industries. Our ambitious net zero by 2045 target is five years ahead of the International Maritime Organisation’s ambition for international shipping to be emission free by 2050. 
Scotland is a maritime nation with a huge coastline of over 7,300 miles (11,800km). Projects here can benefit from our advanced network of ports and harbours, skilled supply chain, and maritime labour pool offering expertise in shipbuilding, freight and fleet management, offshore energy, aquaculture, nautical colleges and training specialists – all located within a close geographic area.   
By locating in Scotland, you’ll find immediate opportunities in: 

  • Vessel and component design and manufacture, including low-emission vessels to facilitate our growing offshore wind industry.
  • Low or zero-emission fuels and propulsion technologies for cargo and passenger shipping services, e.g. batteries, hydrogen and electrification (including hybrid).    
  • Development of auxiliary power systems and associated augmentations.  
  • Manufacturing and supply chain for ferry services and cruise terminal operations, both for onboard innovations and shore-side infrastructure.    
  • Zero-emission technologies for existing vessels, including design, manufacture and retrofitting.  
  • Digitisation of vessel operations.  
  • Port infrastructure and net zero demonstrator projects – operations, new fuel provision and shore power.  

Some of the existing sustainable maritime projects include:

  • CMDC and ZEVI awards – 24 projects involving Scottish maritime recipients (industrial and academic).
  • MariLight – this project aims to lightweight ship structure to reduce CO2 emissions, involving BAE Systems and the University of Strathclyde and led by Malin Marine Consultants.
  • eSOV – the world’s first zero-emissions electric service operation vessel (eSOV) with a methanol range extender led by Port of Aberdeen, involving Bibby Marine and Kongsberg.
  • Winds of Change – this focuses on lightweight, data-driven, wing-sail solutions for global shipping, led by Smart Green Shipping.  
  • E-LUV – the UK's first fully electric workboat and charging station supported by Shore Power Storage, led by Coastal Workboats, involving BK Marine.
  • Port of Aberdeen Net Zero project – a £55million investment to achieve net zero by 2040, pioneering green port innovation and facilitating energy transition solutions.

Scotland is committed to phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, as well as removing petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025. 

Supported by the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund, designed to double the size of Scotland’s public charging network, you’ll find immediate opportunities to provide refuelling products, services, and infrastructure.   

Some of the existing EV refuelling projects include:

  • Fuel Cells and Batteries research project – this aims to revolutionise electric travel and renewable energy storage, hosted by the University of St Andrews.
  • Li-ion Battery Development Test Facility, University of St Andrews – a battery prototyping facility, or ‘dry lab’, enabling development and evaluation before manufacture.
  • ChargePlace Scotland – a government-funded initiative providing public charging infrastructure for EVs across the country, including a network of charging points.

Scotland is poised to become a Hydrogen Nation, using our vast renewable resources to produce green hydrogen at scale. This is creating exciting opportunities in the design and development of hydrogen vehicles, hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and hydrogen vessel demonstrator projects around Scottish Island ferry routes. 

Benefit from our advanced capabilities and expertise in hydrogen storage and distribution, hydrogen-powered buses, cars, and refuse vehicles, and gain early-mover advantage as we develop hydrogen-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), aviation, maritime and rail. 

With strong knowledge and capabilities in hydrogen, but a currently limited supply chain, Scotland offers a plentiful opportunity for international companies active in this field.

There are opportunities for fuel cell development, niche vehicle design and manufacturing, and additional supply chain opportunities include refuelling infrastructure, operation and maintenance, plus hydrogen safety and flow rate meteorology.

Take advantage of the opportunity to work with Aberdeen Hydrogen Hubopens in a new window to develop a commercial supply of green hydrogen into the North East region or with the  hydrogen accelerator initiative at the University of St Andrewsopens in a new window to develop niche vehicles and optimise drive trains for specific applications.

Learn more about Scotland's hydrogen-powered transport projects 

Scotland is rapidly establishing itself as a leading hub for the development of electric drive for on/off-road vehicles, including buses, refuse trucks, and emergency vehicles. 

There’s unique opportunity for companies to play a pivotal role in this dynamic industry and benefit from our cutting-edge research and development, thriving ecosystem and market opportunities in vehicle design, testing and manufacture, standardisation, safety protocols and holistic systems modelling.  

Some of the existing on/off road vehicle projects include:

  • Hydrogen Powered Vehicles – the UK’s first fuel cell hydrogen waste truck, added to Aberdeen’s growing fleet of hydrogen powered commercial vehicles in 2022.
  • Aberdeen Hydrogen Hubopens in a new window - A joint venture between bp and Aberdeen City Council that aims to deliver a scalable, green hydrogen production, storage and distribution facility.
  • CAVForthopens in a new window - One of the most ambitious and complex autonomous bus trials worldwide, with a fleet of five Alexander Dennis Enviro200AV autonomous buses. 

Scotland aims to pioneer zero-emission railways by 2035, setting an ambitious goal five years ahead of the wider UK timeline. 

Benefit from significant investment in major rail infrastructure, electrification projects and rolling stock replacement, creating huge opportunities across the whole rail supply chain, including diesel alternatives for non-electrified routes, such as independently powered battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric trains. 

As we actively grow our industrial capability, projects can also benefit from the skills, innovation, and supply chain capability required to support the decarbonisation of rail and delivery of projects.

Some of the existing rail projects include:

  • Hydrogen Train Project – this is the successful conversion of a 40-year-old train to a hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain, as part of a programme to decarbonise Scotland's railways.
  • Power of Tomorrow – this is a collaborative project to accelerate development and deployment of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric trains.   

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