Gas networks set out hydrogen plans for 2021


Following a “great year” for hydrogen, the UK’s gas networks have pledged to continue working to turn Britain’s hydrogen ambitions into a reality throughout 2021.

On 11 March, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) published the body of work the Gas Goes Green programme is aiming to undertake and deliver on for 2021. The programme, which is seeking to convert Britain’s £24bn gas network infrastructure to run on hydrogen and biomethane, spent much of 2020 in the planning and research phase of its pathway to net zero. While that work will continue this year, it will also strive to take initial steps forward with its second phase – facilitating the connection of more green gas.

Part of that will involve making progress against the recently revealed Britain’s Hydrogen Network Plan, with Gas Goes Green to coordinate joint government and industry hydrogen programme activity and aim to develop a Network Entry Agreement. This agreement, focused on hydrogen blending and 100% hydrogen connections, was explained as being necessary to address network configuration, the gas quality specification, the physical location of the injection or delivery point into the network, and standards to be used for gas quality and the measurement of flow.

To prepare for the transition of the gas network enable biomethane and hydrogen to be transported and distributed safely to a maintained quality, the plans include the development of a blending delivery timeline. Building on the HyDeploy trial and the government’s commitment blending, as outlined in the 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, it will set out the gas network’s vision for introducing hydrogen blends.

Other areas of work focused on hydrogen targeted for 2021 include a proposed licensing regime for industrial cluster hydrogen infrastructure and the Cost to Consumer analysis being updated, in light of updates to key assumptions, such as the cost of conversion to distribute hydrogen and energy storage, and the fresh scenarios in the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget advice to government.

Elsewhere, the ENA also announced the launch of a “Tomorrow’s Heat, Today’s Opportunity” hub in response to growing interest in hydrogen’s role in reducing carbon emissions. Using interactive content, the hub will set out key information on the look and feel of hydrogen in homes, how gas network innovation projects are addressing engineering challenges and opportunities associated with it, along with the wider benefits it could deliver for communities and industry as the UK looks to build its first hydrogen town.