Ambitious plans to convert significant parts of the UK gas grid to be 100% hydrogen were launched by a project team led by Northern Gas Networks at an event in Westminster during the summer.
More than 200 MPs, government representatives, sustainable energy experts and academics from across the UK attended the launch of the H21 Leeds City Gate report, which calls for the gas grid to be converted to hydrogen, starting with the Leeds city region and then for conversion to take place across the country incrementally.
The report finds that converting the UK gas grid to hydrogen will be a major step towards meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets. Currently, over 30% of all UK carbon emissions come from domestic heating and cooking.
A UK-wide conversion to hydrogen gas will reduce heat emissions by a minimum of 73% as well as supporting decarbonisation of transport and localised electrical generation.
Instead of burning methane and releasing carbon into the atmosphere, the process would remove the carbon and store it in appropriate geological storage locations under the North Sea. The remaining hydrogen, which emits no carbon dioxide when burnt, would then be used for domestic energy.
The report indicates that calculated demand would be serviced by hydrogen production and storage facilities including production capacity provided by four Steam Methane Reformers located on Teesside, fitted with 90% carbon dioxide capture.
Dan Sadler, H21 Project Manager at Northern Gas Networks, said:
“A nationwide conversion to a hydrogen gas grid is technically possible, economically viable and will be a significant contributor to meeting the UK’s decarbonisation targets.
“This is a major opportunity for our country to become a world leader in hydrogen technology and decarbonisation and would create thousands of new jobs across the UK.”
The report was jointly launched by the North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), Kiwa Gastec, Amec Foster Wheeler and Wales & West Utilities.
View the H21 film and report at www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk