Britain’s gas grid is set to be ready to start to blending hydrogen around the country from next year, helping provide families with more secure, homegrown energy supplies, new plans published by energy network companies announce today.
Energy Networks Association (ENA) has published Britain’s Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan, setting out how all five of Britain’s gas grid companies will meet the Government’s target for Britain’s network of gas pipes to be ready to deliver 20% hydrogen to homes and businesses acround the country from 2023, as a replacement for up to a fifth of the natural gas currently used. It will also mean that Britain’s fleet of gas-fired power plants will be able to use blended hydrogen to generate cleaner electricity.
The companies are also calling for the UK Government to double its domestic 2030 hydrogen production target from 5GW to 10GW, to ensure that as much hydrogen as possible is produced from sources here in the UK, to better protect homes and businesses from international gas market changes.
Blending 20% hydrogen into the gas grid will reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 2.5 million cars a year, without any changes needed to be made to people’s cookers, boilers or heating systems, ENA says.
Britain’s Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan sets out:
- A new ‘Target 2023’ timeline that all five of Britain’s gas network companies will follow, to ensure homes are able to benefit from hydrogen as a replacement for up to a fifth of the natural gas currently used, from the winter of 2023/4 onwards.
- Two options that the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy should choose from for the energy infrastructure changes that need to be made to allow hydrogen blending to happen from 2023 – a Strategic Approach and a Free Market Approach.
- The legal changes that must be made by Government and regulatory bodies across five key ‘Market Pillars’ to ensure gas network companies can start blending hydrogen into the gas grid from 2023.
The Plan builds on the progress made by gas network companies through the HyDeploy project, which has demonstrated that blending hydrogen with natural gas is feasible and safe. The project began blending hydrogen into the public gas network in Winlaton, Gateshead, in summer 2021.
David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, says:
“Whether it be heating our homes, powering our businesses or generating cleaner electricity, hydrogen will help drive up our energy security, while driving down our carbon emissions – and Britain’s gas grid companies are ready to get on with the job of delivering that.
“This plan sets out the changes needed to deliver cleaner, more secure energy supplies for all. What’s key is that the Government does its bit too by lifting its target for homegrown hydrogen production this decade. Doing that today will help gas grid companies deliver for tomorrow.”
Notes to editors
- Blending up to 20% hydrogen into the gas grid is subject to a final decision by the Government which it will make in 2023, as set out in the UK Government Hydrogen Strategy,
- The Prime Minister's November 2020 Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution stated that the Government will "work with industry to complete testing necessary to allow up to 20% blending of hydrogen into the gas distribution grid for all homes on the gas grid" by 2023.
- Britain’s Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan sets out the policy decisions and legal changes that need to be made by the Government and regulatory bodies as part of that decision and to allow gas networks to begin blending up to 20% hydrogen into the gas grid.
- 85% of GB homes are connected to the gas grid, 23 million properties. To reach Net Zero, Britain needs to reduce the average household’s carbon emissions from nearly three tonnes today, to just 135kg by 2050 - a drop of 95%.
- More information on the groundbreaking HyDeploy project can be found online here.and on hydrogen blending here.
- The UK Government Hydrogen Strategy states (p77) – “Blending could facilitate access to a significant source of demand for early low carbon hydrogen producers”.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).
Energy supplier or network operator? Energy network operators are entirely separate to your energy supplier, which is the company that bills you for using electricity and gas. Energy suppliers and generators are represented by Energy UK.