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Tomorrow’s Heat, Today’s Opportunity

What does Britain’s hydrogen future hold for our homes and communities? How will we get there? And what opportunities could it create along the way?

Welcome

Why do we need to replace the natural gas that so many of us rely upon for our heating, hot water and cooking, with hydrogen?

Watch our short introductory video on how Britain’s gas networks are working together to deliver hydrogen safely and securely to our homes.

Did you know?

Warm homes, a greener future

Our plans will reduce carbon emissions from Britain’s homes in a way that means we can use our heating, hot water and cooking exactly as we’re used to, using people’s existing central heating systems to help keep bills down.

Click on the elements in the house to see our plans.

Gas Goes Green house graphic Gas Goes Green house graphic mobile version
Hydrogen boilers

Hydrogen boilers

Hydrogen-ready boilers are the same shape and size as normal gas boilers and won’t require major changes to install them.

How will it work?

How will it work?

Replacing natural gas with hydrogen means we can continue to heat our homes and hot water, and cook our food, in exactly the same way as we do now.

What will hydrogen smell like?

What will hydrogen smell like?

The smell of the gas you currently use is added artificially as a safety measure. We will do the same with hydrogen.

Costs

Costs

A hydrogen-ready boiler will cost roughly the same as a normal gas boiler, and running Britain’s energy system on hydrogen, biomethane and electricity will save billpayers £13bn a year by 2050. In fact, we expect that running our energy system on hydrogen will be cheaper than using natural gas by the early 2040s, costing less than 5p for each unit of energy used.

Central heating

Central heating

Hydrogen can be used with your existing central heating system, avoiding the need for expensive changes to the structure of your home.

The gas grid

The gas grid

Hydrogen can be produced from sources such as renewable wind, solar and industrial sites that remove and capture the carbon from natural gas. The UK gas network is well prepared for hydrogen. The programme to replace Britain’s local gas pipes with new hydrogen-ready pipes is nearly two thirds complete. Subject to approval from the energy regulator, it will conclude by 2032.

Our expertise, your security

Through our innovation projects, we’re making use of our world-leading expertise to enable the safe and secure delivery of hydrogen to Britain’s homes.

Click on the dots to read more about some of the most important projects currently underway.

Gas Goes Green map graphic

Delivering renewable hydrogen to homes

 

From 2022, the world-leading H100 Fife project will demonstrate how hydrogen produced from renewable electricity generated by a nearby offshore wind turbine can provide 300 local homes with clean heating, hot water and cooking. Read more here.

Ensuring we maintain safe & secure energy supplies

National Grid logo

Using real-life infrastructure to build a model that represents all the different parts of Britain’s gas grid, FutureGrid will show how hydrogen can be used to ensure that we continue to receive safe and secure energy supplies wherever and whenever we need them. Read more here.

Using hydrogen for greener heavy industry

Hynet logo

HyNet will demonstrate how hydrogen in ‘industrial clusters’ can be used to reduce carbon emissions from Britain’s heavy industry, using carbon capture, storage and utilization technology. In later stages, it will show how that hydrogen can also be delivered to local homes, reducing carbon emissions in a way that supports green industrial jobs and investment. Read more here.

Using hydrogen for greener heavy industry image

Safely mixing hydrogen into Britain’s gas grid

HyDeploy logo

Working with Keele University and the Health & Safety Executive, the HyDeploy project is demonstrating how we can safely replace up to 20% of the natural gas in Britain’s gas grid with hydrogen. This could reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the road each year – all without households having to change their existing boilers, cookers or other appliances. Read more here.

Safety testing 100% hydrogen boilers in homes

H21 logo

Working with the Health & Safety Executive, the world-leading H21 project is safety-testing 100% hydrogen-ready boilers made by leading manufacturers Worcester Bosch and Baxi, in a variety of different circumstances and settings. Read more here.

Researching public attitudes

H21 logo

There are currently low levels of public awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions from home heating. As part of the H21 project, Leeds Beckett University is undertaking in-depth independent research into attitudes in this area, so we can better understand people’s needs and concerns, and use that information to inform our innovation work. Read more here.

Researching public attitudes image

Supporting a choice of green heating appliances

Wales and West logo

HyCompact is a groundbreaking new project that will provide households with home heating from both green gas and electricity, switching between the two, dependent on which is cheaper at any given time. It brings together a boiler and heat pump into one ‘hybrid’ unit, connected by a ‘smart energy’ hub that responds to signals from the energy grid. Read more here.

Supporting a choice of green heating appliances image

Investing in your communities and industry

Hydrogen in Britain’s homes means that we will deliver and support investment in communities and industry around the country, including in building Britain’s first hydrogen town.

Click on the elements in the town to see our plans.

Gas Goes Green community illustration
1
Heavy industry

Heavy industry

Hydrogen has an important role to play in heavy industry, for example in steel manufacturing, because it is often the only alternative to natural gas. As we reduce our carbon emissions from heavy industry, hydrogen will help to keep it internationally competitive. Projects such as the HyNet scheme in north-west England are expected to create 5,000 new jobs in the region by 2025. Using hydrogen to decarbonise all of our industry could create 43,000 UK jobs by 2050, according to research by consultants Element Energy.

2
Power plants

Power plants

Hydrogen can be used as a substitute for natural gas in power plants, generating electricity to keep our grid stable and secure at those times when the sun doesn’t shine, or the wind doesn’t blow. Using green or blue hydrogen this way is an example of how we can make our energy system more integrated across the gas and electricity sectors. The Gas Goes Green Pathway to Net Zero is based on this approach, which could save our economy £13bn a year by 2050 in energy costs compared to the alternatives.

3
Hydrogen storage

Hydrogen storage

Hydrogen means we will be able store large amounts of energy so we can use it at those times when we need it most urgently and unexpectedly, such as during cold weather. This builds on the strengths of our current gas system, which delivers five times more energy than electricity when demand is at its greatest It will make it easier for us all to access cheaper energy supplies and to import and export hydrogen. We’re currently researching how we can store it safely and securely in places like salt caverns, deep underground.

4
Blue hydrogen

Blue hydrogen

Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas by splitting off, capturing and safely storing its carbon, using steam. In the early stages of building a hydrogen economy, most hydrogen will come from this source until the costs of producing renewable green hydrogen drop, once technology matures. Research by consultants Element Energy estimates that at its peak, 73,000 people could be working in activities related to the construction of blue hydrogen infrastructure.

5
Carbon storage

Carbon storage

We need to safely and securely capture the carbon emissions that are created by producing blue hydrogen, using a technology called ‘carbon capture, storage and utilization’. The carbon captured can be either stored (for example in empty oil and gas fields under the North or Irish Sea) or used in manufacturing products such as concrete or plastics, helping to support green jobs. Storing it this way can help create new long-term green skills and job opportunities for the 300,000 people who currently work in Britain’s oil and gas sector.

6
Transportation

Transportation

Hydrogen and biomethane can be used to power our cars, buses and heavy goods vehicles on the road, and our shipping and perhaps aircraft too. Alongside electric vehicles, they will give people and businesses a choice of different technologies to choose from, so they can find a transport type that suits them best. Independent research by consultants Element Energy shows that £16bn could be invested in hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at sites across the country by 2050.

7
Biomethane plants

Biomethane plants

Biomethane is a renewable gas that can be locally produced from organic matter such as manure from farmers or sewage from water utilities’ wastewater sites, to be used in those areas of the country where hydrogen production might be more difficult. We’re currently talking to businesses about new ways to speed up the way that biomethane plants can connect to the gas grid, supporting new green investment and jobs across a variety of different industries and their supply chains.

8
Offshore wind

Offshore wind

The UK has a world-leading offshore wind sector with ambitious growth targets. It currently provides 11,000 jobs around the UK, expected to expand to 27,000 jobs by 2030, according to the Offshore Wind Industry Council. As well as being a source of green hydrogen, offshore wind in the UK serves as an example of how Government policy can build a new industry for hydrogen production by delivering new investment and innovation to drive down costs and deliver jobs.

9
Green hydrogen

Green hydrogen

Green hydrogen is produced using renewable electricity from sites such as wind farms, through a process known as electrolysis. It can be created by sites built solely for producing it or from sites with spare electricity when there is little demand for it, allowing that energy to be stored and used as hydrogen when it’s needed, rather than it going to waste. A green hydrogen industry could create 120,000 jobs for the UK economy by 2050, according to the Offshore Wind Industry Council.

10
Hydrogen at home

Hydrogen at home

Around 85% of Britain’s homes are connected to its world-leading gas grid. Nearly two-thirds of Britain’s local gas pipelines are now hydrogen-ready, enough to go one and a half times around the world’s Equator. Gas network companies plan to invest a total of £28bn through this programme by 2032, delivering green investment and jobs in communities across the country.

  • 1. Heavy industry

    Hydrogen has an important role to play in heavy industry, for example in steel manufacturing, because it is often the only alternative to natural gas. As we reduce our carbon emissions from heavy industry, hydrogen will help to keep it internationally competitive. Projects such as the HyNet scheme in north-west England are expected to create 5,000 new jobs in the region by 2025. Using hydrogen to decarbonise all of our industry could create 43,000 UK jobs by 2050, according to research by consultants Element Energy.

  • 2. Power plants

    Hydrogen can be used as a substitute for natural gas in power plants, generating electricity to keep our grid stable and secure at those times when the sun doesn’t shine, or the wind doesn’t blow. Using green or blue hydrogen this way is an example of how we can make our energy system more integrated across the gas and electricity sectors. The Gas Goes Green Pathway to Net Zero is based on this approach, which could save our economy £13bn a year by 2050 in energy costs compared to the alternatives.

  • 3. Hydrogen storage

    Hydrogen means we will be able store large amounts of energy so we can use it at those times when we need it most urgently and unexpectedly, such as during cold weather. This builds on the strengths of our current gas system, which delivers five times more energy than electricity when demand is at its greatest It will make it easier for us all to access cheaper energy supplies and to import and export hydrogen. We’re currently researching how we can store it safely and securely in places like salt caverns, deep underground.

  • 4. Blue hydrogen

    Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas by splitting off, capturing and safely storing its carbon, using steam. In the early stages of building a hydrogen economy, most hydrogen will come from this source until the costs of producing renewable green hydrogen drop, once technology matures. Research by consultants Element Energy estimates that at its peak, 73,000 people could be working in activities related to the construction of blue hydrogen infrastructure.

  • 5. Carbon storage

    We need to safely and securely capture the carbon emissions that are created by producing blue hydrogen, using a technology called ‘carbon capture, storage and utilization’. The carbon captured can be either stored (for example in empty oil and gas fields under the North or Irish Sea) or used in manufacturing products such as concrete or plastics, helping to support green jobs. Storing it this way can help create new long-term green skills and job opportunities for the 300,000 people who currently work in Britain’s oil and gas sector.

  • 6. Transportation

    Hydrogen and biomethane can be used to power our cars, buses and heavy goods vehicles on the road, and our shipping and perhaps aircraft too. Alongside electric vehicles, they will give people and businesses a choice of different technologies to choose from, so they can find a transport type that suits them best. Independent research by consultants Element Energy shows that £16bn could be invested in hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at sites across the country by 2050.

  • 7. Biomethane plants

    Biomethane is a renewable gas that can be locally produced from organic matter such as manure from farmers or sewage from water utilities’ wastewater sites, to be used in those areas of the country where hydrogen production might be more difficult. We’re currently talking to businesses about new ways to speed up the way that biomethane plants can connect to the gas grid, supporting new green investment and jobs across a variety of different industries and their supply chains.

  • 8. Offshore wind

    The UK has a world-leading offshore wind sector with ambitious growth targets. It currently provides 11,000 jobs around the UK, expected to expand to 27,000 jobs by 2030, according to the Offshore Wind Industry Council. As well as being a source of green hydrogen, offshore wind in the UK serves as an example of how Government policy can build a new industry for hydrogen production by delivering new investment and innovation to drive down costs and deliver jobs.

  • 9. Green hydrogen

    Green hydrogen is produced using renewable electricity from sites such as wind farms, through a process known as electrolysis. It can be created by sites built solely for producing it or from sites with spare electricity when there is little demand for it, allowing that energy to be stored and used as hydrogen when it’s needed, rather than it going to waste. A green hydrogen industry could create 120,000 jobs for the UK economy by 2050, according to the Offshore Wind Industry Council.

  • 10. Hydrogen at home

    Around 85% of Britain’s homes are connected to its world-leading gas grid. Nearly two-thirds of Britain’s local gas pipelines are now hydrogen-ready, enough to go one and a half times around the world’s Equator. Gas network companies plan to invest a total of £28bn through this programme by 2032, delivering green investment and jobs in communities across the country.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is Gas Goes Green?

    For Britain to meet the challenge of climate change, we need to replace the carbon-emitting natural gas that 85% of our homes rely upon for heating, hot water and cooking. We believe that the best way to do that is to replace that gas with a combination of hydrogen and biomethane, working in partnership with an increased use of electricity.

    Bringing together all five of Britain’s gas network companies, our Gas Goes Green programme is our response to that challenge. The programme will research, co-ordinate and implement the changes needed to convert Britain’s world-leading 284,000km of gas network infrastructure to run on hydrogen and biomethane.

    If you want to know more about the detail of this work, visit our programme webpage here.

  • What is a zero-carbon gas grid?

    It is a gas network of pipelines and other supporting infrastructure that has been switched over from delivering carbon-emitting natural gas to our homes and businesses, to delivering carbon-neutral green gases like hydrogen and biomethane instead.

    The benefits of this approach mean that the UK will be able to:

    1. Reduce carbon emissions from Britain’s homes in a way that means that people can use their heating, hot water and cooking exactly as they are used to, using existing central heating systems to help keep bills down.
    2. Use our world-leading expertise to deliver hydrogen and biomethane to homes, offices and industry safely and securely – whilst supporting people’s ability to choose the right appliances for their homes, offices and factories.
    3. Enable Britain’s gas network companies to deliver long-term green investment in communities around the country, creating new demand for clean technologies and green gas, stimulating new green industries, supply chains and jobs.
  • What will this mean for people’s gas cookers, boilers and other appliances?

    People’s existing cookers and boilers are designed so that they can operate safely with up to 20% of the gas in the grid being hydrogen. In terms of carbon emissions, blending this much hydrogen into Britain’s gas grid is the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the road a year. And increased biomethane in the gas grid will not have any impact on the way that people use their heating, hot water and cooking.

    To prepare for more than 20% hydrogen in the grid, appliances that can be converted to run at 100% hydrogen are being developed by manufacturers to be fitted as part of regular boiler replacement cycles. We believe that, from 2025, all new gas boilers should be ‘hydrogen-ready’ by law.

    The biggest advantage of using these appliances is that they don’t require people’s central heating systems to be changed, or for people to change the way they use their heating, cookers or other appliances.

    For boilers, the final switch to 100% hydrogen requires an engineer to make some basic modifications. This process is expected to take around one hour – less time than typical boiler servicing. Once converted to 100% hydrogen, the boiler will be permanently switched to the new fuel. With hydrogen-ready products expected to hit the shelves in the next couple of years, manufacturers have said that hydrogen-ready boilers can be developed at either limited or no additional cost to the customer.

  • Why bother converting the gas network?

    With 85% of Britain’s properties connected to our gas networks, decarbonation of natural gas with new, greener gas forms is a critical ingredient of meeting the UK’s net zero targets and addressing climate change.

    The replacement of natural gas with hydrogen, alongside the increased use of electricity, has been cited by the Committee of Climate Change as being necessary for the UK to reduce its carbon emissions.

    At the same time, simply casting aside a world-leading piece of critical national energy infrastructure and relying solely on electricity, would cost consumers as much as £13 billion more a year by 2050, according to Navigant Research (if that approach is even achievable in the first place).

  • How much will all this cost?

    The costs of running our energy system solely using electric technologies to decarbonise are estimated at £13 billion more a year by 2050 than repurposing our gas grid – that’s almost £500 per household. That is why a balanced approach is required, with hydrogen and biomethane used alongside more electricity, energy efficiency measures and new green technologies.

    Reducing our carbon emissions to ‘Net Zero’ by 2050 will require significant investment by the UK Government and industry, with an annual cost of 1-2% of GDP, according to the Committee on Climate Change.

    The total cost of investment in switching our energy system over to hydrogen over the next 30 years will be around £182bn.

    But by 2045, and aside from the considerable environmental benefits, this approach will prove cheaper than continuing to run the system on carbon-emitting natural gas. And by the time that we reach the Net Zero target just five years later, we forecast that more than £89bn will already have been saved in total. And that’s before we even account for the wider economic benefits that investment could deliver in terms of new jobs, innovation and technology.

  • Where can I find out more about the events you organise?

    We run a programme of events that are designed to provide Parliamentarians, the press, academics, industry and other stakeholders with more detail about the work we’ve set out on this webpage. This year we’ll be running three webinars with a range of different speakers to provide a variety of different perspectives:

    1. Warm Homes, A Greener Future: Building on H21, Climate Assembly UK and other social science research, this event will discuss what we know about attitudes to heating, hot water and cooking, what we need to learn more about them and how that needs to inform the Government’s upcoming decision on the decarbonisation of heat.
    2. Our Expertise, Your Security: Setting out the work that gas networks’ innovation projects are undertaking in relation safety, security and consumer choice, this event will that work in more detail, looking at progress and the depth of expertise that it is currently being deployed and where we go next.
    3. Investing in Your Communities & Industry: This event will examine the role gas networks and their supply chain partners will play in ‘hydrogen towns’ of the future in providing local infrastructure and utilities, how that connects to the wider energy system around it and what the social and economic benefits of that will be.

    To register to take part in these events, just head on over to our events page and enter the title of the event you would like to attend in the search box.

  • How can I find out more?

    You can find out more about what is going in your area by contacting your local gas network company. You can find out who that is and how you can contact them by putting your postcode into our ‘Who’s my network operator?’ finder.

    If you’re a Parliamentarian or a member of the press who would like a more in-depth briefing, then get in touch and one of the Gas Goes Green team will get back to you.

“Imagine how our Green Industrial Revolution could transform life across our United Kingdom… You cook your breakfast using hydrogen… Around you the air is cleaner, and the trucks and trains, ships and planes are running on hydrogen.”

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

Our participating members

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