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Hydrogen: the future fuel to achieve net zero? – asks the National Grid

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If they need to ask the question, the answer is probably ‘no’.
– – –
Hydrogen has the potential to be a low-carbon alternative to gas in our homes and businesses, but first we need to test this fuel for the future.

That’s where FutureGrid comes in, says the National Grid.

Today most of us are reliant on gas to heat our homes and businesses, with 85% of households using gas central heating.

But a waste product of burning gas for heat energy is carbon dioxide (CO2) – a greenhouse gas which, when released into the atmosphere, contributes to climate change [Talkshop comment – evidence-free assertion].

In contrast, when we burn hydrogen to produce heat energy the only waste product is water vapour.

Heating, cooking and industrial processes account for 37% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. So, to reach the climate change target of net zero by 2050 and dramatically lower these emissions, we need a green alternative to natural gas. Hydrogen has the potential to be that green alternative.

Converting to hydrogen

The ability to transport hydrogen through existing gas pipelines would minimise disruption, cancelling the need for new, expensive infrastructure to support a new hydrogen network.

Another potential plus point is that, as people are used to using natural gas for cooking and heating, a switch to hydrogen energy using the same network has the potential to be an easier transition.

A safe and reliable future home fuel?

Reliability and safety are of the utmost importance to delivering low-carbon energy to people’s homes and businesses. So, extensive testing and detailed trials are essential to uncover the full potential for hydrogen and to understand what modifications may be needed to safely transport hydrogen.

Under our HyNTS programme – Hydrogen in the National Transmission System – we’ve already run several projects looking into the physical capabilities of the gas transmission system transporting hydrogen.

The next step is FutureGrid, which aims to technically demonstrate how we can re-purpose our gas network to transport hydrogen.

Construction of the FutureGrid facility will begin at DNV GL’s test centre at Spadeadam in Cumbria this April (2021).

The facility will be constructed ‘offline’ from the actual gas network, so we can mimic the real-life National Transmission System (NTS) operation quickly and safely.

Full article here.


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