UK to Trial Hydrogen Use in Heating
UK transmission operator National Grid said on August 5 that it had teamed up with north England gas distributor Northern Gas Networks and Belgium's Fluxys to build a facility for testing how hydrogen can be used to heat homes.
The facility will be built from decommissioned assets at a site operated by Norway's DNV GL in Cumbria in northwest England, at a cost of £10mn ($13mn). The partners have filed plans with regulator Ofgem, in order to secure funding. The aim is to create a representative offline network to test hydrogen blends of up to 100%.
The UK has pledged to become a net zero economy by 2050.
"If we truly want to reach a net zero decarbonised future, we need to replace methane with green alternatives like hydrogen," National Grid's hydrogen project director Antony Green said in a statement. "Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonise, and the importance of the gas networks to the UK's current energy supply means trial projects like this are crucial if we are to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers."
Construction on the facility is due to start in 2021, with tests commencing the following year. The project is also supported by the government's HSE Science Division, and the universities of Durham and Edinburgh.