National Grid plans £10m project to test hydrogen heating for UK homes

A facility will be built in the North West of England to test how hydrogen could be used to warm homes and slash emissions from industry

National Grid has announced plans for a £10 million trial project to test if hydrogen can heat homes in the UK and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from industry.

The plan is to build a hydrogen test facility at Spadeadam in Cumbria – the project, which will be delivered by the risk management and energy group DNV GL with support provided by the independent regulator HSE Science Division, Durham University and the University of Edinburgh, will involve using retired assets to create a network where hydrogen will be tested at transmission pressures, to assess how the equipment performs.

For this development, the electricity operator has also teamed up with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Belgium’s gas network operator Fluxys.

National Grid has submitted plans to Ofgem and if funding is awarded the company aims to start construction in 2021 and testing one year later.

Antony Green, Project Director for Hydrogen at National Grid, said: “If we truly want to reach a net zero decarbonised future, we need to replace methane with green alternatives like hydrogen.

“Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonise and the importance of the gas networks to the UK’s current energy supply means trial projects like this are crucial if we are to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers.”

The firm says the hydrogen test facility will be kept in a controlled environment, separately from the main national transmission system, to ensure that there will not be any risk to the safety of the existing gas network.

Currently, 85% of homes and 40% of the UK’s power needs are supplied by gas.

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