Plans laid out for Britain’s first hydrogen town

Wales & West Utilities has joined with Britain’s gas grid companies to set out plans to deliver the UK’s first hydrogen town by 2030.

Part of the Energy Networks Association’s Gas Goes Green programme, Britain’s Hydrogen Network Plan sets out the detail of the activity that all five of Britain’s gas network companies will undertake to turn Britain’s hydrogen ambitions into reality, as set out in the Prime Minister’s November 2020 “10 Point Plan for A Green Industrial Revolution”.

The gas grid companies are responsible for owning and operating the pipelines and other infrastructure that currently deliver gas to 85% of homes in Great Britain. Britain’s Hydrogen Network Plan also sets out the work gas network companies will undertake to meet the UK’s other hydrogen objectives, including being ready by 2023 to blend up to 20% hydrogen into local gas grids and the UK meet a hydrogen production target of 1GW by 2025 and 5GW by 2030.

It sets out how they will help deliver a network of refuelling facilities for zero emissions heavy good vehicles, and connect the renewables production, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen use for industrial SuperPlaces, helping deliver two clusters by the mid-2020s and two more by 2030.

Specifically, the plan states companies will:

  1. Ensure the safe delivery of hydrogen through innovation projects.
  2. Maintain security of energy supply, to ensure gas networks have enough capacity to meet Britain’s energy demands using hydrogen.
  3. Work with people’s needs, to help reduce carbon emissions whilst ensuring that people and businesses have a choice of different low carbon technologies – in our homes, our offices and factories, as well as on our roads.
  4. Deliver jobs and investment, including through the replacement of old iron mains gas pipes around the country with new, hydrogen-ready pipes instead.

We are delighted to be part of this initiative which plans to deliver the UK’s first hydrogen town by 2030 and will turn Britain’s hydrogen ambitions: heating homes, powering businesses, into reality.

As independent research shows, converting our existing safe and reliable gas network to transport green gases like hydrogen and biomethane will help the UK get to Net Zero more sustainable and affordably than alternatives, while minimising disruption to energy consumers.

Chris Clarke, Wales & West Utilities energy strategy director, said: “Building the UK’s first hydrogen town is not just about replacing the natural gas that most of our homes rely upon today; it’s about reducing our carbon emissions in a safe and secure way. It’s about delivering meaningful choice for households, businesses and communities. And it’s about ensuring that the economic benefits of hydrogen are spread around the country, to take advantage of the breadth and scale of that transformation.”

Chris Train, ENA’s Gas Goes Green champion, said: “Wales & West Utilities is committed to playing its part to help the UK get to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. It has 30 power stations connected to its network to support renewables like wind and solar power, while 19 green gas sites inject enough decarbonised green gas to power 130,000 homes.

“The company’s network also supplies bus garages in three locations, fuelling CNG buses that improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions from public transport.”

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