National Grid has announced plans for a project to explore how hydrogen gas could be used to heat homes and deliver green energy to industry.
It is partnering with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Fluxys Belgium to build a first of its kind offline hydrogen test facility in the UK.
The £10m facility at Spadeadam, Cumbria, will be built from a range of decommissioned assets, to create a network which will be used to trial hydrogen and will allow for accurate results to be analysed. Blends of hydrogen up to 100% will then be tested at transmission pressures, to assess how the assets perform.
The plans have been submitted to Ofgem and if funding is awarded, the aim is to start construction in 2021 with testing beginning in 2022.
Currently 85% of homes and 40% of the UK’s power needs are supplied by gas. But as the UK works towards becoming one of the world’s first net zero economies by 2050, the gas sector needs to demonstrate a viable pathway for decarbonisation.
Antony Green, Project Director for Hydrogen at National Grid, says: “If we truly want to reach a net zero decarbonised future, we need to replace methane with green alternatives like hydrogen. Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonise, and the importance of the gas networks to the UK’s current energy supply means trial projects like this are crucial if we are to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers.”