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UK trial of hydrogen and natural gas mix receives green light

28 July 2021

Next month sees the start of 10-month trial of introducing 20% hydrogen into the gas grid, after the project received the approval of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

There has been considerable interest in the use of hydrogen in a number of areas to reduce carbon emissions in the drive to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The trial in question will be conducted in Gateshead and overseen by Northern Gas Networks, according to www.spglobal.com.

Known as the HyDeploy project, it will see a blend of 20% hydrogen with 80% natural gas supplied to 668 houses, a school and several small business.

These are situated in the Winlaton, Gateshead area and represents and follows an earlier trial project in partnership with Keele University that ended earlier this year.

This involved mixing 20% hydrogen in a closed natural gas network to supply 100 homes and 30 commercial buildings.

According to Northern Gas Networks head of programme management Tim Harwood, the initiative follows 18 months of engagement with the local community.

"The project will provide more vital evidence about the possibilities of blending hydrogen into the natural gas network across the UK, as a stepping stone to decarbonising heat with no disruption to customers," he said.

Heating of commercial and residential buildings accounts for around one-third of the UK's CO2 emissions.

The introduction of 20% hydrogen into the UK gas grid could save approximately 6m mt/year of carbon emissions, according to Northern Gas Networks.

Significant changes are expected to be made in all areas of society within the UK's drive to achieve net zero carbon emissions, many of which will impact on the running of facilities and estates in the future.


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