Decarbonising heat in the home with green gas and hydrogen

future of energy

We recently submitted our response to the BEIS Select Committee's inquiry on Decarbonising heat in the home.​ Dr Tony Ballance, Chief Strategy & Regulation Officer, explains why hydrogen and green gas will need to form part of the UK's future energy mix in order for us to reach Net Zero.

Working towards Net Zero

We believe there is a global climate emergency and that radical changes are needed to the way we heat our homes and buildings and power our industries. As well as tackling the environmental impact of our own operations, Cadent is playing a leading role in helping the UK reach Net Zero, by connecting greater levels of renewable biomethane to our networks and pioneering new technologies, including hydrogen for energy, to substantially cut carbon emissions. By facilitating a switch in the gas that flows through our pipes from natural gas to renewable biomethane and hydrogen, we can, in turn, decarbonise those heat networks that are fuelled by the gas we supply.

Hydrogen and decarbonising home heating

Over 23.5m homes (83%) are connected to the gas network, the majority of which are heated via a natural gas boiler. As such, the gas network can be viewed as a strategic national asset that could be repurposed to decarbonise home heating using hydrogen and green gas.

While the UK awaits a hydrogen strategy, hydrogen is expected to play a key role in delivering Net Zero. The comprehensive authoritative studies that have been undertaken on future energy pathways (such as National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios and the Climate Change Committee's Net Zero report) suggest ‘green’ gas is required to achieve Net Zero within the 2050 timeframe. Fossil fuel derived natural gas must therefore be replaced by a low/zero carbon ‘green gases’, such as hydrogen, biomethane and bio-SNG at scale, in order to provide decarbonised heat for homes in the future.

Over the past few years, we have been exploring if and how the network could be used to deliver ‘green gases’ such as biomethane and hydrogen both safely and feasibly to enable the achievement of net zero. Cadent have committed to supporting the creation of the world’s first zero-carbon gas grid in the UK, working closely with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) under the Gas Goes Green programme, by ensuring that the gas grid is ready to replace natural gas with hydrogen and biomethane. 
Our submission to the BEIS Select Committee, which you can read below, goes into more detail on our thoughts on decarbonising heat in the homes. But one aspect that we can we can be confident of is that hydrogen will be needed as part of a whole-system approach to future energy planning.

Find out more

Our submission to the BEIS Select Committee:

Read the report


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.

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