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BDC 319 : Aug 2024


Britain’s gas grid to be ready to deliver hydrogen across the country from 2023, energy networks announce

Britain’s gas grid is set to be ready to start to blending hydrogen around the country from next year, helping provide families with more secure, homegrown energy supplies, new plans published by energy network companies announce today. Energy Networks Association (ENA) has published Britain’s Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan, setting out how all five of Britain’s gas grid companies will meet the Government’s target for Britain’s network of gas pipes to be ready to deliver 20% hydrogen to homes and businesses acround the country from 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 also calling for the UK Government to double its domestic 2030 hydrogen production target from 5GW to 10GW, to ensure that as much hydrogen as possible is produced from sources here in the UK, to better protect homes and businesses from international gas market changes. Blending 20% 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 says. Britain’s Hydrogen Blending Delivery Plan sets out: A new ‘Target 2023’ timeline that all five of Britain’s gas network companies will follow, to ensure homes are able to benefit from hydrogen as a replacement for up to a fifth of the natural gas currently used, from the winter of 2023/4 onwards. Two options that the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy should choose from for the energy infrastructure changes that need to be made to allow hydrogen blending to happen from 2023 – a Strategic Approach and a Free Market Approach. The legal changes that must be made by Government and regulatory bodies across five key ‘Market Pillars’ to ensure gas network companies can start blending hydrogen into the gas grid from 2023. The Plan builds on the progress made by gas network companies through the HyDeploy project, which has demonstrated that blending hydrogen with natural gas is feasible and safe. The project began blending hydrogen into the public gas network in Winlaton, Gateshead, in summer 2021. David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, says: “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. “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.”

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