The environmental challenge
To meet the Government’s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, we will 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 looking for a solution. It’s a balance between cost, environmental concerns, safety and what our customers expect. And to make significant improvement takes Government and regulatory changes too.
The right energy for the job
Around 90% of the UK’s households are using gas right now for heat and cooking so we are keen to avoid disrupting them. Gas is unique in its ability to respond instantly to sudden increases in demand (like on a particularly cold day) so it makes sense to continue to use this for heating our homes. Electricity is ideal for powering our lights, TVs and devices – if it’s generated by wind, solar or tide, that’s even better. At Cadent we see the future energy market as a mix of gas and electricity, maintaining choice for the customer as well as addressing environmental concerns.
The future is gas, but not as we know it.
The network of gas pipes across the UK is one of the country’s most valuable assets. With the electricity network it is worth more than £60Bn. So it makes sense to continue to use this network to help reduce CO2. That’s why we’re developing ways of using hydrogen for domestic heat and cooking, instead of 100% natural gas. We’re testing this right now at Keele University’s network and will be running larger trials in the North East and North West from 2020.
A hydrogen industry for the UK?
Using our gas network to deliver hydrogen for heating homes means that hydrogen will be easily accessible all across the UK. So it can be used to fuel trucks and trains and power our industries relatively easily and cheaply when compared to other alternatives. It could also lead to a hydrogen production industry for the UK, which would make us a world leader.