Back in October of last year, Cadent released its “Hydrogen Ten Point Plan”, where it signalled its ambition to make hydrogen a safe, fair and reliable choice for consumers, and set out how it will go about delivering that.
It has now published a first update to that plan, detailing its progress over the last year across its commitments of preparing and scaling hydrogen production, scaling investment in jobs and skills, and looking after its colleagues and consumers. CEO, Steve Fraser, revealed that they are “ahead of where I hoped we would be at the end of our first year” but did acknowledge much work remains, with support from the likes of government, local authorities, industry partners and consumer groups all needed as Cadent looks to continue making progress in delivering hydrogen for net zero.
It remains on track to introduce net zero construction sites from 2023, though projects elsewhere have meant its plans to deliver the first scaled hydrogen blending facility from 2025 mean such a trial is no longer needed. Instead, it is now expecting blending to be rolled out in 2027 as part of the HyNet North-West consortium. It is also on track to deliver the UK’s first 100% hydrogen pipeline by 2027. A public consultation has been completed, with the responses helping to refine proposals ahead of a further consultation later in the year, with a planning permission application then set to follow in 2023.
On plans to enable 5GW of hydrogen production in its region by 2030, Cadent is on track thanks to being part of HyNet North-West, which is striving to deliver 3.8GW of hydrogen production by 2030, and has also been working with producers across its region to support their plans to bring forward projects thar are worth another 7GW. This includes in places such as the East Coast Industrial Cluster, Thames Estuary and Cumbria.
It is “broadly on track” to launch a Hydrogen Skills Academy and develop a hydrogen education programme by 2024, and on track when it comes to accelerating the adoption of hydrogen vehicles from 2025. On the latter, it explained that it successfully applied for funding from the government for funding towards Hy4Transport, which is set to enable hydrogen refuelling from repurposed gas networks and, should it prove successful, could play a role in unlocking hydrogen demand for transport.
Providing financing options for low carbon heating for its employees is the one area it is behind its anticipated timeline, mainly due to third party financing packages not being readily available. It is, however, on track to delivering its plan to demonstrate heat decarbonisation of whole communities by 2025 through its proposals to make Whitby in Ellesmere Port the UK’s first hydrogen village and is also broadly on track to install hydrogen-ready appliances by 2026 or sooner after meeting with all four major appliance manufacturers to identify ways to accelerate deployment. Although progress here, it noted, is dependent on government decisions.