The report sets out how all five of Britain’s gas grid companies will meet the government target for Britain’s network of gas pipes to be ready to deliver 20 per cent hydrogen to homes and businesses by 2023, as a replacement for up to a fifth of the natural gas currently used.
It will also mean that Britain’s fleet of gas-fired power plants will be able to use blended hydrogen to generate cleaner electricity.
The companies are calling for the UK government to double its domestic 2030 hydrogen production target from 5GW to 10GW, to ensure as much hydrogen as possible is produced from UK sources to better protect homes and businesses from international gas market changes.
Blending 20 per cent hydrogen into the gas grid will reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 2.5 million cars a year, without any changes needed to be made to people’s cookers, boilers or heating systems, ENA said.
The plan sets out a new ‘Target 2023’ timeline that all five gas network companies will follow, and two recommendations for options that the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy should choose from for the necessary energy infrastructure changes to allow hydrogen blending to happen from 2023 — a Strategic Approach and a Free Market Approach.
It also sets out legal changes that should be made by government and regulatory bodies across five key ‘Market Pillars’.
ENA’s plan builds on the progress made by gas network companies through the HyDeploy project, which demonstrates the safety and feasibility of blending hydrogen with natural gas. The project began blending hydrogen into the public gas network in Winlaton, Gateshead, in summer 2021.
“Whether it be heating our homes, powering our businesses or generating cleaner electricity, hydrogen will help drive up our energy security, while driving down our carbon emissions — and Britain’s gas grid companies are ready to get on with the job of delivering that,” said David Smith, chief executive of Energy Networks Association.
“This plan sets out the changes needed to deliver cleaner, more secure energy supplies for all. What’s key is that the government does its bit too by lifting its target for homegrown hydrogen production this decade. Doing that today will help gas grid companies deliver for tomorrow.”