North-West England is leading the way in developing new sources of low carbon hydrogen to reduce emissions from heavy industry and homes.
This month, Essar Oil announced that it had submitted a planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council to start building two £750m hydrogen production plants by the end of next year, so they can begin producing the versatile gas by the middle of the decade.
Part of the HyNet North West initiative, the hydrogen plants would be located at the Essar's Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port.
The two sites will have the capacity to produce the equivalent energy to that used for heating the whole of Liverpool each year.
Projects like this will be crucial to decarbonisation, because hydrogen can not only be used to heat our homes, but also used to reduce emissions from our heavy industries that need a lot of energy, such as glass, steel, and ceramic manufacturing companies.
That’s because these industries need to create the right high temperatures to make their products, which can be either too difficult, too expensive, or impossible to do with electricity. You can find out more about the decarbonisation of these industries in our handy Industrial Clusters pamphlet and infographic, which are linked to on the right of this page.
So, what role have gas network companies had to play in this exciting new development?
HyNet North West brings together local gas distribution network companies Cadent and Wales & West Utilities with companies like Essar, so they can deliver the hydrogen pipelines and other infrastructure that will be needed to scale up Britain’s homegrown hydrogen production, driving down costs and ensuring that our businesses and homes can access clean, secure sources of energy, produced here in the UK.
And as we recently set out in our Innovation Impacts research, the HyNet North West project alone could help deliver £810.5m of investment in the next ten years, leading to 3,300 jobs being created by network companies and their supply chain partners.
Essar Oil’s announcement is another example of how gas network companies are working with industry to lay the foundations for Britain’s hydrogen economy, and how 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 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).