UK Issues 'Hydrogen for Homes' Tender
The UK government's Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) is tendering for a contractor to manage the delivery of a £25mn programme to explore the potential for using hydrogen gas to heat the country's homes and businesses.
It will run from 2017 to 2020 and will aim to define a hydrogen quality standard, and to develop and trial domestic and commercial hydrogen appliances. Details of the tender can be downloaded here .
Using more hydrogen in home-heating has the potential to reduce demand for natural gas in such applications, as looks likely in the Netherlands.
Beis is looking to work with local authorities on developing low energy plans, including the support the development and expansion of domestic low carbon heating projects. Hydrogen can be made through electrolysis, using low-carbon wind-derived or other renewable electricity. There are existing projects to make hydrogen in this way in Germany, which may be followed by others in the Netherlands and France.
UK strategy for batteries
In a bigger but less gas-focused Beis statement July 24, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark flagged the launch of the £246mn 'Faraday Challenge' to boost UK-based global expertise in battery technology, the first phase of which is launch now of a £45mn competition to establish a world-class centre for battery research. Later July 24, he will also confirm a further £25mn of funding for driverless vehicles technology.
Beis argued that home-based batteries and smart meters could "help the country save up to £40bn on energy costs over decades to come" but there were no costings and no details on why the roughly 750,000 homes already with solar panels should invest in batteries, which today never recoup the initial investment, unless the government puts up the cash. It removed incentives for homes to invest in new rooftop solar PV panels in 2015.