What is hydrogen blending and why do we need it?

As the UK works towards reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it’s important to take action as soon as possible, starting to decarbonise heating by replacing natural gas with a greener alternative. We believe the best option for this is hydrogen.

In order to start introducing hydrogen into our networks, we need to show that it is a safe and viable option. In our HyDeploy trial in Keele, we have shown that existing boilers and cooking appliances can run on a a blend of up to 20% hydrogen with natural gas with no disruption to households at all. One of the next steps is to demonstrate that blended hydrogen can be used in industrial and commercial equipment.

The Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan for a Green industrial

Revolution lays out plans to ensure that the evidence for hydrogen blending into the gas network is ready by 2023, and we are working hard to make sure everything is in place to support that aim. The sooner hydrogen blending starts, the sooner we start to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the gas grid.

Why hydrogen?


Hydrogen is a great way of storing and transporting energy and can be made in a low carbon way.
 

Using hydrogen as part of the gas network isn’t a brand-new concept. Before transitioning to natural gas in the 1960s-70s, we transported ‘town gas’. This consisted of, amongst other things, hydrogen. Although we’ve not transported hydrogen in our networks for some time, we believe it could hold the key to helping reduce carbon emissions. With the government planning to announce their Hydrogen Strategy in 2021, as well as an overarching Heating Policy in 2025, our Future of Gas programme has been designed to undertake the essential research and trials that will provide the evidence needed to show that hydrogen can be a safe alternative for use in homes and businesses through the network.

What are the effects of hydrogen blending on me?

The great thing about a natural gas and hydrogen blend is that it shouldn't require a change to appliances used in the home, such as boilers and gas hobs. In fact, for homeowners in the UK, there should be no noticeable difference at all.

HyDeploy was an 18 month long demonstration project of hydrogen blending that was carried out on the Keele University campus. Adam Worthington, 42, who works for the university as a member of the estates team, lives in a four-bedroom house on the site with his wife Simone and daughter Olivia, ten. “We didn’t notice any difference,” said Worthington. “They came in to check our boiler and cooker before it started, but other than that we didn’t have to do anything. If the university hadn’t told us it was happening we wouldn’t have known.”

When will blending happen?

The Government has set a target of gathering the evidence to allow hdrogen blending into the gas network by 2023. We're working with them to support their thinking on how best to make this happen.
We intend to start by blending hydrogen into our networks at concentrations of up to 20% as soon as possible, immediately reducing the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere.

Information for hydrogen producers

We are actively exploring how and where hydrogen will be blended into our networks in the future and exploring the processes needed for connection. We've created an information pack for organisations that are interested in producing hydrogen. 

We're really keen to talk to potential hydrogen producers to find out more about their plans and discuss how we can support them. To get the conversation started, contact us at futureofgas@cadentgas.com and we will arrange an introductory meeting.

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