Strong public support for hydrogen village trial is essential, says government

Energy Minister Graham Stuart has expressed his views on the trial in Whitby after residents’ concerns

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A hydrogen village trial in Whitby, Ellesmere Port will go ahead only if it secures strong public support, the government has confirmed.

The Whitby project is a government-backed trial to discover whether the UK can transition from natural gas to hydrogen, using the existing network.

In a letter, seen by ELN, Energy Minister Graham Stuart said: “I fully agree that local support for the trial is essential. In their submissions, in March we have asked the gas networks to provide evidence of substantial local support for the trial to be validated by an independent external source such as a local council.

“This will be a critical factor in the assessment process. Maintaining momentum on this important project is crucial to enabling strategic decisions in 2026 on decarbonisation of heating.

“However, we will only go ahead with a trial in an area where there is strong local support.”

A few days ago, Citizens Advice Cheshire West withdrew support around Cadent’s hydrogen village after receiving high call volumes resulting in more confusion about the project.

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