Hydrogen central to government’s fuel switching drive


The government has allocated £18.5mn for an Industrial Fuel Switching programme, supporting four demonstration phase projects.

Announced on 18 February as part of a £90mn package to tackle emissions from homes and heavy industry, the support includes £5.27mn to a consortium consisting of Progressive Energy, Unilever, Pilkington and Essar to undertake the detailed design and practical demonstration of conversion of three sites to hydrogen.

Progressive Energy is also part of a collaboration behind the HyNet scheme, which also received £7.5mn from the government, and will look to produce a hydrogen production plant that produces low carbon hydrogen from natural gas. Once the demonstrations for the fuel switching programme are complete in spring 2021, it is hoped that the sites involved – along with a range of others using similar boilers, furnaces or gas turbines – will have sufficient confidence to fully convert to low carbon hydrogen, available in bulk from the HyNet project.

Elsewhere, £2.82mn has gone to the British Lime Association, which is looking to hydrogen alternatives to gas for calcium lime manufacturing and the Mineral Products Association has been assigned £3.2mn for its work on switching fuels for cement production. Glass Futures and partners have been awarded £7.12mn as they explore switching technologies for the glass sector.