1.1 Zero Carbon Commitment

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Gas network companies are urging the Government to back its Zero Carbon Commitment package of investment both as part of its plans for the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and its long term decarbonisation policy. The regulator is due to make a decision on gas network investment in in July. Click here or on the image below to download our report.

1.1 Zero Carbon Commitment

With 85% of Britain’s homes connected to 284,000km of gas pipelines across the country, the Commitment sets out network companies’ plans to invest £904m in projects across Britain’s regions between 2021 and 2026, under the RIIO-2 price control.

The investment would be used to prepare Britain’s gas grid for a switchover from using methane natural gas to zero carbon hydrogen and biomethane, based on the ENA Gas Goes Green programme’s Pathway to Net Zero. The Commitment includes plans to invest:

  • £446m in new network infrastructure for projects that roll out the industrial use of hydrogen, as well as domestic trials. This includes £391m of investment in engineering and design work for carbon, capture, utilisation and storage projects in the north-west of England, Aberdeenshire and the Isle of Grain.
  • £264m in ‘cross-cutting’ projects that will expand the capacity of local gas networks to connect more hydrogen and bio-methane generation projects, transport refuelling stations, and ensure network operators have the right systems in place to manage the gas used by those connections.
  • £150m for running new, large scale trials of domestic appliances providing hydrogen heating, cooking and transportation appliances connected to the gas grid, starting in controlled environments, before moving on to unoccupied and finally occupied premises.
  • £43m in projects to understand how to blend an increasing amount of zero carbon hydrogen with the natural gas currently used in our gas networks, to gradually replace it.

New research published alongside the Commitment has found that the £182bn of investment needed to create a zero carbon gas grid would save British bill payers £89bn by 2050, compared to the continued use of natural gas in Great Britain. The in-depth research also shows that there is no realistic scenario whereby the UK can achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 without hydrogen playing a key role in the decarbonisation of large carbon emitting sectors such as industry, transport, power and heat.

It finds that the UK will need to use hydrogen produced both from carbon capture and storage projects (‘blue hydrogen’) and renewable electricity (‘green hydrogen’). Green hydrogen produced from the latter is expected to become cost-competitive by 2030 if investment into its uptake is made now by policymakers. Click here or on the image below to download the report.

Hydrogen Cost to customer


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