A “first of its kind”, zero-carbon, hydrogen project has been designed to heat homes and businesses in Staffordshire. HyDeploy, launched by Keele University, will project hydrogen heating into the university’s existing natural gas network. This will then be used to heat 100 homes and 30 faculty buildings.
The £7 million project has been backed by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition and is partnered with the Northern Gas Network.
Currently, half of the UK’s energy consumption comes from providing heat for properties and industry. It is also responsible for approximately a third of all carbon emissions, with 83 per cent of homes using gas.
Hydrogen heating works without CO2. Because of this, the Committee on Climate Change has stated that it is necessary for hydrogen to be used to reach Net-Zero emissions.
The importance of Hydrogen Heating
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.
“HyDeploy could also prove to be the launchpad for a wider hydrogen economy, fuelling industry and transport, bringing new jobs and making Britain a world-leader in this technology. Urgent action is needed on carbon emissions and HyDeploy is an important staging post on that journey in the UK.”
Professor Mark Ormerod, the deputy vice-chancellor at Keele University, said: “Sustainability and low carbon energy is a key overarching institutional priority at Keele University, and we are delighted to be a key partner in HyDeploy.
“HyDeploy is a pioneering landmark national demonstration project, using our campus as a genuine ‘living laboratory’ for low carbon and energy-efficient technologies.
“HyDeploy has the potential to be hugely impactful and lead to a step-change in the reduction of carbon emissions associated with heat.”
UK households are willing to switch to hydrogen
In a survey by Newcastle University, 87 per cent of households in the UK would be happy to use hydrogen as a domestic fuel. This is due to the positive environmental impact it could have. However, concerns of higher costs were also raised.
Mark Horsley, chief executive for Northern Gas Networks said: “Hydrogen has a key role to play in a low carbon energy future and understanding public perceptions of hydrogen is crucial to customer acceptance of the technology and its ability to make a positive difference to climate change.
“Research helps us to further understand the key issues and challenges customers need us to address around hydrogen, while work continues to deliver the evidence base supporting its role in decarbonising heat.”
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