Climate Action

UK’s first grid-injected hydrogen pilot gets underway

A new ground-breaking hydrogen trial has begun in the UK.

  • 02 January 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

A new ground-breaking hydrogen trial has begun in the UK.

A new pilot to inject zero carbon hydrogen into a gas network to heat homes and businesses is now fully operational. This is the first time zero carbon hydrogen has been injected in the UK’s modern gas grid.

HyDeploy, a new ground-breaking green energy trial at Keele University, Staffordshire, has been developed to help Britain cut its carbon emissions and open the door to a low-carbon hydrogen economy.

The HyDeploy demonstration is injecting up to 20% (by volume) of hydrogen into Keele University’s existing natural gas network, feeding 100 homes and 30 faculty buildings.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has determined that the use of hydrogen in our energy system is necessary in order to reach Net Zero.

At present, heating for domestic properties and industry accounts for half of the UK’s energy consumption and one third of its carbon emissions.

The 20% volume blend will allow customers to continue to use their gas supply as normal, without any changes being needed to gas appliances or pipework. The blend will reduce carbon emissions, saving around 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the road.

Ed Syson, Chief Safety and Strategy Officer for Cadent, said: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of this trial to the UK - this is the first ever practical demonstration of hydrogen in a modern gas network in this country.”

“Hydrogen can help us tackle one of the most difficult sources of carbon emissions – heat. This trial could pave the way for a wider roll out of hydrogen blending, enabling consumers to cut carbon emissions without changing anything that they do.

The £7 million project, backed by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition and led by the Cadent, has the highest hydrogen blend in Europe, together with a similar project being run by Engie in Northern France.

Mark Horsley, Chief Executive at Northern Gas Networks, said: “Hydrogen is a key piece of the decarbonisation jigsaw, and this milestone allows us to take a huge leap forwards in terms of its use in meeting climate change targets.”