Edinburgh airport has partnered with renewable energy company Orsted to accelerate the shift to sustainable air travel.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on reducing emissions at the airport, and meet the airport’s target to reach net zero by 2040.

The airport says that the partnership will make it one of the “most sustainable [airports] in the world” through the use of green technologies to eliminate carbon emissions. These include proposals for hydrogen production facilities powered by offshore wind farms.

The partnership will see the companies collaborate to decarbonise the energy used in the airport itself, and the energy used by the vehicles to operate the airport and transport passengers and goods to and from the airport. It will also work on decarbonising the fuel used by aircraft at Edinburgh airport.

The project will see electricity sourced from the offshore wind farms, and the renewable hydrogen will then be combined with sustainably sourced carbon to produce 250,000 tons of e-kerosene and e-methanol per year when fully scaled up.

The two parties will also work with Scottish and UK governments to inform them of the changes needed in regulations and policy to carry out the project.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said:

“The aviation industry realises the part it plays in emissions and the need to move towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. We have made huge advances in technology and we want to continue to innovate and ensure aviation’s future is one that is decarbonised and contributes positively to our economy and Scotland’s net zero ambitions.

“Although aviation emissions derive in the main from aircraft in flight, we can play our part within our estate and fuel for aircraft at Edinburgh and we are confident this exciting partnership will help us on our way to a sustainable travel future and see Edinburgh Airport helping to develop and support sustainable fuels and their use.”

Duncan Clark, Head of UK Region at Orsted said:

“This is a key stage on Scotland’s journey to reach net zero by 2045.  Whilst we have made huge strides in decarbonising the way we generate electricity, the next stage is to use that renewable electricity to decarbonise industry and transport.  This will involve renewable energy companies collaborating with forward-looking companies such as Edinburgh Airport. Renewable hydrogen is key to decarbonising heavy transport and air-travel and look forward to working together on this exciting technology.”

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said:

“Our recent report into decarbonising the transport sector makes it clear that all modes need to reduce emissions in order for Scotland to meet our ambitious climate change targets, so we welcome this partnership between Edinburgh Airport and Orsted.

“Despite the current challenges faced by the aviation sector, it is good to see Edinburgh Airport preparing for a sustainable future. It is critical that businesses and other organisations at least match Scotland’s statutory targets and our ambition to create a net zero economy. This project has real potential in that regard and I look forward to hearing more about it and seeing it develop.”

Edinburgh Airport is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, a  global, independent infrastructure investor which has invested in a number of offshore windfarms including 50 per cent ownership of Orsted’s Hornsea One – the largest offshore wind farm in the world.