Climate Action

Britain’s gas networks seek approval for £900m net zero infrastructure plan

Britain’s gas network are calling on the government to unlock over £900m investment in developing net zero infrastructure across the country.

  • 29 May 2020
  • Joana Costa Figueira

Britain’s gas network are calling on the government to unlock over £900m investment in developing net zero infrastructure across the country.

Britain’s five gas network companies - Cadent, National Grid, NGN, SGN and Wales & West Utilities – are calling on the UK Government to unlock investment in green gas network infrastructure.

This initiative is part of the UK’s coronavirus economic recovery strategy, with a major focus on ramping up the use of biomethane and hydrogen for heating, cooking, industry and transport. 

This investment will kick start the development of the world’s first zero carbon gas grid, with new research showing that billpayers will benefit from £89bn by 2050.

Around 85 percent of British homes are connected to 284,000km of gas pipelines across the country, and weaning the country off fossil fuel gas for heating and cooking requires significant investment and planning.

The request by Energy Networks Association (ENA) plans to harness hydrogen and biomethane to heat homes and businesses and forms part of its Gas Goes Green initiative which seeks to create the first zero-carbon gas grid in the UK.

The five companies behind the plan are working in collaboration to seek approval for their strategy from the government and the UK energy regulator, Ofgem, who is due to decide on the gas network investment in July.

The plan, which is in support of the UK 2050 net zero emissions target, would see £904m invested in projects across Britain between 2021 and 2026. This follows reserach by ENA which found that if investment into zero carbon hydrogen infrastructure began today, then the country would be a net beneficiary of that investment before 2045, five years ahead of its 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.

David Smith, Chief Executive of the Trade Body and ENA’s Chief Executive, said: “With the solutions to tackling climate change being as much local as they are national, we have to take the ‘build back better’ opportunity to rebalance our economy in the right way.”

“As the government looks to set out its plans for the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, our members are ready to play their part,” said Smith. “We have a plan that’s ready to go. So let’s unlock the investment that’s needed and create the world’s first zero-carbon gas grid here in the UK.”