From the wilds of the Welsh west coast to the towering Black Mountains in the east, the South Wales Industrial Cluster is laying the foundations for reducing the carbon emissions of South Wales.
A partnership between industry, infrastructure companies, the public sector and academia, the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) will help decarbonise heavy industry in South Wales, preserving 113,000 manufacturing jobs and creating thousands of new green jobs by 2050.
And in March this year, it was announced that this exciting project had been awarded an additional £20m of funding to explore the use of hydrogen and carbon capture storage and utilisation in South Wales.
In our recent Innovation Impacts report, local gas distribution network Wales & West Utilities set out how it planned to invest a total of £56m in hydrogen-related innovation projects, potentially creating more than 300 cutting edge, high-tech gas network and related supply chain green jobs across Wales and south-west England over the next ten years.
Identified by the U.K. Government, Britain’s six Industrial Clusters, including South Wales, are distinct because they have a significant number of industrial sites in the same location that manufacture products such as chemicals, iron, steel, glass, ceramics, and paper.
And in the case of SWIC, local gas distribution network Wales & West Utilities is working with a range of different companies, including Associated British Ports, Costain, Dragon LNG, Energy Systems Catapult, Port of Milford Haven, National Grid RWE, Siemens, Tata Steel and Tarmac.
Through SWIC, Wales & West Utilities is working with these partners to identify what gas network infrastructure will be needed to allow:
- The production and distribution of hydrogen from both renewable energy and imported Liquified Natural Gas which is distributed by repurposing the existing gas grid.
- Cleaner electricity production using carbon capture and/or hydrogen-rich natural gas.
- Industrial carbon capture, usage, and storage technologies along the South Wales coast as well as the transportation and shipping of carbon dioxide.
- Large industry decarbonisation through fuel switching (substituting one energy source for a greener, cleaner alternative), process efficiencies and the production of cleaner transportation fuels.
The Gas Goes Green approach to expanding hydrogen supply is to develop hydrogen clusters, initially based on anchor industrial (and transport) end-users like those in Industrial Clusters such as SWIC.
National Grid will repurpose the existing long-distance gas pipelines responsible for transporting hydrogen around the country, joining these Clusters together. Hydrogen use would then expand outwards over time to other industrial users and then into the wider community, including homes and businesses.
So, through its work in decarbonising South Wales’ industry, SWIC is helping lay the foundations for a wider zero carbon gas grid for Wales, giving local households, businesses and communities the future option of using hydrogen in their home to reduce their carbon emissions.
This integrated approach to reducing our carbon emissions is yet another example of our how by investing in innovation projects such as SWIC, Britain’s gas network companies are ensuring that tomorrow’s heat is today’s opportunity.
Notes to editor
Gas Goes Green #H2Explainers are a series of blogs setting all the key information you need to know about how Britain’s gas networks are working to deliver hydrogen to our homes, as part of our 'Tomorrow's Heat, Today's Opportunity' campaign. Check out the ENA Newsroom to find other articles and updates from both gas and electricity network companies.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing 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 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 40,000 people in Great Britain.