SGN, one of our members is delighted that plans for H100 Fife, its pioneering project demonstrating 100% green hydrogen heating in homes for the first time, has been approved by Ofgem.
The energy regulator will award up to £18 million from its annual Network Innovation Competition to support development of the new hydrogen network, triggering a further investment of £6.9m from the Scottish Government. SGN shareholders and Britain’s three other gas distribution networks are also providing funding for the project.
Work will now begin on delivering a 100% hydrogen demonstration network in Levenmouth, Fife, that will bring carbon-free heating and cooking to around 300 homes from the end of 2022.
The project will provide compelling evidence of hydrogen’s performance in a real-world domestic setting as a zero-carbon energy source, as the Scottish and UK Governments look to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 and 2050 respectively.
The clean gas will be produced locally, by a dedicated electrolysis plant powered by a nearby offshore wind turbine. The project will be the first of its kind to use a direct clean power supply to produce hydrogen for domestic heating, putting the Fife town at the forefront of the green energy revolution.
“We’re delighted that stakeholders have recognised the critical importance of H100 Fife,” says Angus McIntosh, SGN Director of Energy Futures. “H100 Fife is the UK’s priority project in this area and is designed to demonstrate hydrogen distribution and in-home performance in a real-world setting.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to revolutionise the way millions of people heat their homes. The hydrogen appliances will connect to the existing pipes in the home for zero carbon heating and cooking with minimal disruption and with no need to replace existing radiators or plumbing.”
“The high level of ambition shown by bidders in this year’s Network Innovation Competition is hugely encouraging and shows the energy industry getting behind the challenge of net zero,” says Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s Chief Executive.
“The winning projects were those which showed the most potential to make the game-changing leaps in technology we need to build a greener, fairer energy system at the lowest cost to consumers.
“Ofgem will continue to back the best of innovation, which will help drive the green recovery and enable consumers to reap the benefits up to 2050 and beyond.”
Replacing natural gas with hydrogen and other low-carbon alternatives will be key if the UK and Scottish Governments are to meet legally binding net zero emissions targets. H100 Fife is a critical first step as the UK aims to develop 5GW of hydrogen production capacity and a first “Hydrogen Town” by 2030. The project was singled out by the Prime Minister during the launch of the UK Government's 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
Customers in Fife will be given the chance to participate in the world-first demonstration. Any customer that opts-in to the project will receive a free hydrogen connection, free replacement hydrogen appliances and free maintenance over the length of the project. They will pay the same amount for hydrogen gas as they would pay for natural gas.
The original version of this blog appeared on the SGN website 30.11.20
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).