“Tomorrow’s heat is today’s opportunity” for reducing carbon emissions from our homes, Britain’s five gas network companies say today, as they publish the work programme for Energy Networks Association’s Gas Goes Green programme for the rest of this year.
The Gas Goes Green Pathway to Net Zero is their response to the need to replace the natural gas that 85% of Britain’s homes rely upon for their heating, hot water and cooking with a greener alternative. The programme is making the changes needed to convert Britain’s £24bn of gas network infrastructure to run on hydrogen and biomethane instead, helping support green jobs and investment in industry and offices around the country.
As the programme continues to progress through the first Planning & Research step of its six-step Pathway, it will also begin the work on its second step, Facilitating the Connection of More Green Gas. Highlights of this year’s activity include:
- Detailed plans for how gas networks will deliver the Prime Minister’s target of blending up to 20% hydrogen into Britain’s gas network from 2023, so Britain’s homes can reduce their carbon emissions by the equivalent of 2.5m cars a year – all without changing their household appliances.
- Putting in place the right licensing arrangements to build the infrastructure needed for the use of hydrogen in Britain’s industrial heartlands, supporting energy intensive industries as they decarbonise. Using hydrogen to decarbonise industry could create 43,000 UK jobs by 2050, according to research by consultants Element Energy.
- Boosting British biomethane production, creating new green gas markets for farmers and other biomethane producers, by finding ways to convert existing biogas power plants to inject biomethane into the gas grid instead – as well streamlining the gas grid connection process for biomethane and hydrogen. Biomethane alone could deliver a 6% reduction in the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and provide heating for 6.4 million homes.
With a growing focus on the Government’s future decision on home heat decarbonisation, the programme will be accompanied by events, webinars and digital activity setting out how hydrogen and biomethane mean that “tomorrow’s heat is today’s opportunity”. This includes:
- How gas network plans will reduce carbon emissions from Britain’s homes in a way that means we can use our heating, hot water & cooking as we’re used to, using people’s existing central heating systems to help keep bills down.
- How gas network innovation projects are using Britain’s world-leading expertise so gas networks can deliver hydrogen to Britain’s homes, businesses and industry safely – whilst maintaining secure energy supplies for us all.
- How hydrogen in Britain’s homes, businesses and industry will lead to green investment in communities around the country, supporting green jobs and skills in industry.
You can find out more on the Gas Goes Green “Tomorrow’s Heat, Today’s Opportunity” digital hub.
Chris Train OBE, ENA’s Green Gas Champion, comments:
“With high ambitions ahead of COP26 later this year, it has never been truer to say that tomorrow’s heat is today’s opportunity. These plans set out how Britain’s gas networks can reduce carbon emissions from Britain’s homes through the work they are delivering, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead of us as we take the next steps on that journey.”
Laura Sandys, Non-Executive Director SGN & Energy System Catapult, says:
“Heat is the really heavy lifting challenge we need to address to reach Net Zero. Hydrogen needs to play a central role to deliver across so many uses, and the gas networks are playing a crucial role in providing the pathway for hydrogen to deliver decarbonised heat with the least disruption to consumers.”
Dr Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy and Climate Change at the National Farmers' Union, remarks:
“Our farmer and grower members welcome the opportunity to provide more low-carbon gas to heat British homes and businesses, increasing our contribution to the national net zero goal. Overcoming regulatory barriers to bring down connection costs and network constraints will be key to achieving this.”
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).