NGN secures funding to explore hydrogen potential

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and partners have secured Ofgem funding of almost £500,000 for a Hydrogen Cost Reduction Programme (HyCoRe) to explore the role of hydrogen for the net zero transition.

The gas distributor for the north of England will be joined by several industry partners, including the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, Kinewell Energy, Arup, University of Newcastle, Unasys, and National Gas Transmission, on the scheme.

The HyCoRe project is one of thirty-six projects to secured a total of £16.09m of Ofgem funding from its Strategic Innovation Fund, with the scheme focusing on the three key research areas of national modelling – identifying high-potential areas; modelling regional solutions and understanding infrastructure solutions to provide connectivity between offshore wind and the gas network; and identifying technical challenges that may impede solutions.

David Lynch, Future Energy Strategy Manager at NGN said: “HyCoRe will provide evidence to demonstrate how hydrogen can be integrated into existing energy networks to reduce capital expenditure required to support net-zero transition by 2050. NGN are extremely pleased to have secured additional funding to continue this programme.”

Paul McKeever, Head of Electrical Research at ORE Catapult said: “The HyCoRe project series is a significant step forward in better understanding gas and electrical grid alignment and how best to utilise offshore wind in future energy solutions. The ORE Catapult team are delighted to be working with such a strong consortium and look forward to applying and developing our expertise in several areas, including technology development and validation; infrastructure solution design incorporating offshore wind and hydrogen technologies; and the often-challenging issue of market regulation.”

Clare Lavelle, Director at Arup said: “Hydrogen deployment at scale is critical to meeting the UK’s Net Zero targets and achieving a Just Transition.  Hydrogen complements increasing electrification of the energy system and will enable the growth of our indigenous offshore wind market. In this critical research programme Arup will use our world leading SCALE platform to understand the most economically attractive routes to green hydrogen production from offshore wind.”  

Professor Sara Walker University of Newcastle said: “Myself and Dr Zografou-Barredo have been considering hydrogen integration through our UKRI Hub on Hydrogen Integration for Accelerated Energy Transitions. Working on this SIF (Strategic Innovation Fund) Alpha project HyCoRe, with industry partners, enables us to collaborate on research questions which really probe the thorny issue of when and where hydrogen can add value.”

‘Dr Chris Mullen, Senior Engineer, Kinewell Energy said: “Hydrogen has the potential to play a major role in the transition to net zero and Kinewell Energy are excited contribute to the HyCoRe project. There are many options and considerations for integrating green hydrogen from offshore wind. Characterising the complexities, determining optimal scenarios and detailing the next hydrogen from offshore wind zone will ultimately benefit network customers.”

Image from Shutterstock

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