Cadent has signalled its ambition to make hydrogen a safe, fair and reliable choice for consumers with the release of its “Hydrogen Ten Point Plan”.
Launching the plan on 11 October, Cadent explained how it sets out its long-term commitment to decarbonising the way energy is used in homes and businesses, while also creating jobs across the UK. With hydrogen set to be a $2.5tn economy in future, Cadent is pledging to work with government, local authorities, industry partners and consumer groups to maximise the decarbonisation and economic opportunity that it presents.
The plan details actions Cadent will take across three areas, the first of which is preparing and scaling up hydrogen production, where it is committed to introducing net zero construction sites from 2023; delivering the first scaled hydrogen blending facility from 2025, with hydrogen blended into the gas networks for 2mn homes across the Liverpool and Manchester region from 2027; delivering the UK’s first hydrogen pipeline by 2027; and enabling 5GW of hydrogen production in its region by 2030.
To scale up investment in jobs and skills, Cadent is pledging to launch a Hydrogen Skills Academy and develop a hydrogen education programme, both by 2024, as well as working in partnership with others to catalyse the development of hydrogen refuelling hub within its region. One hydrogen refuelling stations is targeted by 2025, followed by the first gas network connected refuelling station in 2030. Cadent has the ambition of having the gas network deliver hydrogen to future refuelling stations.
Efforts to look after its colleagues and customers, meanwhile, will see Cadent work with partners to enable access to new finance options and heat as service solutions for its 6,000 plus employees, allowing them to purchase the low carbon heating system to best meet their needs; publish plans to demonstrate heat decarbonisation of whole communities by 2025; and commit to delivering hydrogen-ready appliances as part of its Fuel Poverty programme, as soon as manufacturers make them available, which it hopes is by 2026.
However, for the full potential of the plan to be realised, Cadent has acknowledged the need for close collaboration with government to deliver a regulatory framework that allows for the blending of hydrogen into the gas grid and supports new hydrogen infrastructure; business models that enable hydrogen production to scale up and attract investment; the mandating of hydrogen-ready boilers and appliances as soon as possible; and a focus on skills and skill development across the hydrogen sector.