We're committed to working with our partners to help the UK achieve its decarbonisation targets. Read on to find out more about how we're doing this...

Our ambition: achieving Net Zero

To meet the Government’s target of bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050, we need to make significant changes in the way we use energy and produce it. The way we heat our homes, run our cars, power our industries and fuel our lorries and trains all contribute to climate change.  So we, like many others, are exploring and investing in clean energy solutions.  

We are working with our gas and electricity partners via the Energy Networks Association to agree a cross-industry approach to decarbonisation.

Our vision: facilitating the transition to hydrogen

Decarbonising the gas networks

Hydrogen is a medium and longer term low carbon option, and a huge potential clean energy source for the 2030s and beyond. Working closely with our partners, we are using the HyDeploy project to explore the potential to use blended hydrogen in the gas distribution networks.

Decarbonising transport 

Exploring the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for domestic heat and for industry has opened up other opportunities, particularly in transport.

The HyNet concept, which proposes an integrated hydrogen economy across the North West of England, with a new hydrogen pipeline at its heart, is a case in point. Once the key elements of HyNet have been installed, namely the pipelines, hydrogen production facility and carbon capture technology, the region will have access to hydrogen for a range of other uses including transport – particularly heavy or freight transport.

We commissioned a report by Progressive Energy and Element Energy called HyMotion – Network-supplied hydrogen unlocks low carbon transport opportunities, which we shared across the energy sector. The report provides analysis demonstrating that hydrogen delivered by the gas networks would be more cost-effective and more efficient than any alternatives – especially for larger vehicles.

This means hydrogen trains, boats and ferries, heavy goods vehicles and buses could all become carbon neutral with the help of hydrogen.

What we're doing today

Upgrading our gas networks for the future

Between now and 2032, we will continue to invest in our gas mains replacement programme. This work is mandated by the Health and Safety Executive, to improve safety while reducing methane emissions. By the end of the programme, our distribution networks will mainly consist of plastic pipes, which can carry a wider range of gases including hydrogen. As these pipes also require significantly lower maintenance than existing materials, they will deliver a low-cost, low-carbon network which will play a central role in our energy system.

Connecting alternative fuels to our network

We welcome the connection of new sources of gas to our networks, and will continue to add to the 30+ biomethane plants we have now connected to our networks. Biomethane is produced by fermenting organic matter, with feedstocks ranging from farm and animal waste to food and sewage waste, crops and silage. 

Renewable gases such as biomethane will have an increasingly positive impact on the UK energy mix and, can help us decarbonise by delivering:
  • A meaningful contribution to the UK's decarbonisation targets
  • Economies of scale, by better using a reliable network to supply heat and power
  • Cost efficiencies in comparison to other renewable sources such as solar

Greater Manchester decarbonisation pathway report

Developed in collaboration with Electricity North West, our main distribution network operator, our decarbonisation pathways provide energy blueprints for Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.
Our decarbonisation pathways for Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria provide near to mid-term certainties around the future of energy supply and demand in order to inform decision-making and investment planning for the adoption of low carbon technologies (including hydrogen, solar PV and electric vehicles) as the North West transitions to a net zero future.

Read the Decarbonisation Pathway for Greater Manchester report.