The role that hydrogen can play in helping London become net zero carbon by 2030 will be the focus of a pioneering project announced today by Britain’s largest gas network companies.
The partnership between Cadent, SGN and National Grid Gas Transmission will design a hydrogen vision for the capital setting out the potential benefits and opportunities to London and Britain. These include reducing emissions, generating jobs and skills, boosting future energy independence and offering greater comfort for London’s citizens, including the most vulnerable.
The infrastructure companies, responsible for the safe and reliable supply of gas to millions of customers, will work together to deliver a feasibility study for the transition of London’s gas network to hydrogen.
The study is the first stage of their Capital Hydrogen programme for the London and South East region, which comprises a series of projects which will last for 15-20 years. The transition to low carbon hydrogen will contribute to the Mayor’s commitment for London to be net zero carbon by 2030, as well as the wider UK government commitment for net zero by 2050.
The feasibility stage will identify how much hydrogen may be needed by London over the next 30 years, where it will be produced and stored, and how it will be transported to where it is needed. It will explore how the gas grid can play a role in the distribution of hydrogen both via blending in the existing network and working towards the delivery of 100% hydrogen via dedicated infrastructure.
In the Thames Estuary there is the potential for both low carbon hydrogen production and use, decarbonising the industry and gas-fired power generators clustered nearby. The identification of hydrogen demand in the capital will also help to stimulate production in nascent energy hubs such as those at Bacton in Norfolk and Southampton, and the feasibility study will look at how gas networks can help connect production and demand.
The research will conclude in October 2022 and showcase views from key stakeholders, which will be gathered collaboratively by the three energy companies over the next six months. The project is being supported by ERM and Element Energy.
Sally Brewis, Head of Regional Development for Cadent’s London Network, said: “London is an extremely important part of the hydrogen story in the UK, because of the sheer size of its decarbonised energy requirements and because we believe that low carbon hydrogen will be a critical part of the energy mix. As well as creating the vision for hydrogen in London, the study will identify what steps we’ll need to take in order to achieve it, and describe some near-term practical schemes that will help kick-start the local hydrogen economy.”
SGN Project Manager Graham Cox said: “We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Capital Hydrogen, which represents a solid commitment by all our businesses to work in partnership to support our customers, London and the UK in becoming the global leader in decarbonisation.
“The vision will explore how much hydrogen may be needed in London across all sectors and how this will support London’s net zero carbon targets. It will put key stakeholders at the centre of decarbonisation, promote customer choice and protect the most vulnerable.”
Danielle Stewart, Hydrogen Programme Manager at National Grid Gas Transmission, said: “We believe that hydrogen is an essential component of the energy mix on our journey to net zero, helping to decarbonise all sectors. This exciting and collaborative project will demonstrate the credible role that hydrogen can play in meeting the needs of domestic consumers, transport and industry in London, and the action needed to realise this vision.”
SGN manages the network that distributes natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across the south of England and Scotland. Our pipes deliver gas safely, reliably and efficiently to every one of our customers.
Since our rebrand in 2014, we are no longer known as Scotland Gas Networks, Southern Gas Networks or Scotia Gas Networks. Please refer to us as gas distribution company SGN.
Whatever time of day or night, anyone who smells gas should dial the National Gas Emergency Number – 0800 111 999*. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free.
About National Grid:
We own and operate the high-pressure gas transmission network in Great Britain, which contains 7,630km of high-pressure pipelines, 68 gas compressors and more than 500 above-ground installations. We are responsible for making sure the country’s gas is transported safely and efficiently from where it is produced to where it is consumed. As the Gas System Operator, we are responsible for ensuring that supply and demand are balanced in real time, day to day.
ERM is the largest global pure-play sustainability consultancy with over 5,500 experts working on sustainability challenges globally. ERM is at the forefront of blue and green hydrogen and a leader in the evaluation of hydrogen as a sustainable fuel and energy vector for decarbonising heat, power and transportation with our projects related to hydrogen production facilities, storage and pipelines. ERM has extensive experience in supporting companies and governments to design and implement bold energy transition strategies.
About Element Energy (an ERM Group company):
Element Energy, founded in 2003, provides integrated solutions to help clients deploy low-carbon technologies and supporting systems on a large scale. The company drives the development, commercialization and deployment of emerging low-carbon technologies, often for the first time, through its work with organizations, and its leadership role in international research and development consortia.
Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy. We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change. Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency. Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing.
Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.
Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*
Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.
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