New Independent Report Recommends Role for Hydrogen in Decarbonisation of Heat

For immediate release – Monday 9 May 2016

A new independent report from Imperial College has highlighted the important role that the UK’s gas networks can play in decarbonising heat demand to meet targets set by the Paris Agreement.

The report, which Energy Networks Association (ENA) contributed to, assesses infrastructure options for heat decarbonisation.  It examines an option of using green gas in the existing gas grids and allowing consumers to keep the gas boilers in their homes. This is evaluated alongside electrification of heat production and the use of district heating. 

One of the report’s main recommendations is that repurposing the gas grids for use with hydrogen would make efficient use of existing energy infrastructure and have little additional cost or impact on roadworks and in consumer homes. The paper highlights the Northern Gas Networks H21 project examining the feasibility of converting the gas networks in Leeds to hydrogen and recommends that further pilot studies should be carried out to determine the feasibility of hydrogen production and distribution processes.

ENA Director of Policy Tony Glover, who sat on the advisory board for the report, said:

"The use of green gas, including hydrogen, in the gas network is an area of exciting potential being explored by Gas Distribution Network companies. Alongside other forms of green gas, hydrogen could play a role in decarbonising heat demand, whilst making efficient use of existing network infrastructure which currently serves 85% of buildings.

This latest report demonstrates that, whilst there is no ‘silver bullet’ to meeting our decarbonisation challenge, the gas networks will play a crucial role in ensuring security and affordability in a sustainable energy future.”

ENDS

The report is available from http://provpol.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Heat-infrastructure-paper.pdf.  

ENA is the voice of the networks representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Tim Field MCIPR
Head of Press and Public Affairs
Energy Networks Association

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