National Grid Plc is starting a hydrogen research facility to test how Britain’s gas transmission network can be used to transport hydrogen to heat homes or applied to industry.
The 12.7 million-pound ($17 million) project will receive almost three quarters of its funding from Ofgem as part of the energy regulator’s Network Innovation Competition, announced Monday, with the rest coming from private partners. The test facility in Cumbria, northwest England, won’t be connected to the live grid.
To reach net zero emissions “we need to replace methane with green alternatives like hydrogen,” said Anthony Green, project director for hydrogen at National Grid. “Sectors such as heat are difficult to decarbonize, and the importance of the gas networks to the UK’s current energy supply means projects like this are crucial if we are to deliver low-carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers.”
The government is due to deliver its hydrogen strategy next year, setting out how it will support an industry that could be worth $12 trillion, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. National Grid operates the natural gas network that carries the fuel to power stations and to local grids where it eventually reaches homes.
Northern Gas Networks, one of the UK’s gas distribution systems, is building a microgrid distribution network alongside three terraced houses. The transmission project will be connected to these to test a complete hydrogen gas infrastructure.