The results of the HyDeploy trial, led by Cadent Gas in partnership with Keele University, has shown that that hydrogen can be used in natural gas networks with no adverse effects for users, and with the potential to impressively reduce carbon emissions.
The trial ran at Keele University throughout 2020, with 30 campus buildings and 100 private homes on Keele’s gas network using blended gas for heating and cooking appliances. Keele was the perfect choice for the trial thanks to having its own private gas network, making the campus an ideal place to test new energy technologies at a smaller scale.
The year-long trial saw more than 42,000 cubic metres of hydrogen blended into the gas network, which has resulted in 27 tonnes of CO2 being saved from entering the atmosphere.
The equivalent of taking 2.5m cars off the road
If rolled out nationally, a 20% blend of hydrogen could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere equivalent to taking 2.5m cars off the road, and all without changes to current heating and cooking appliances.
Steve Fraser, chief executive of Cadent said: “With 8 in 10 of our homes in the UK heated by natural gas – it is an energy we are familiar with. Adopting hydrogen blending across the gas networks would save carbon emissions equivalent to removing 2.5m cars from our roads – a huge step towards net zero.”
Challenges of hydrogen sustainability
Mark Wilkins, head of training and external affairs at Vaillant, said: “The development of hydrogen-ready boilers is one piece of the puzzle; the challenge comes with creating the industry to produce hydrogen sustainably, with the skills and network to deliver it to UK homes and businesses on the scale required.
“Until we have definitive solutions to these issues, hydrogen ready boilers are only part of the solution, the part that manufacturers can deliver.
“Hydrogen is colourless, odourless and has a wider flammability range compared to natural gas. These different characteristics mean that there is work to be done to determine how we use hydrogen in homes and businesses and how it can be delivered through the existing UK gas network.”