UK trial of hydrogen blended gas to kick off

Power-to-gas pipes. Source: ITM Power plc (www.itm-power.com)

November 6 (Renewables Now) - A trial in the UK of blending up to 20% hydrogen into the gas supply has been given the green light by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The GBP-6.8-million (USD 8.9m/EUR 7.8m) HyDeploy project, first announced in 2016, is funded by Ofgem and led by gas network Cadent, in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), hydrogen energy systems provider ITM Power (LON:ITM) and clean energy company Progressive Energy. The trial is due to start next year and will see up to 20% of hydrogen blended with the normal gas supply in part of Keele University's gas network, serving 17 faculty buildings and 100 domestic properties.

In an announcement today, Simon Fairman, director of safety and network strategy at Cadent, said that this is the first ever practical demonstration of hydrogen in the modern gas network in the UK and could pave the way for a wider roll out of hydrogen blending.

Injecting hydrogen into the natural gas network could reduce carbon emissions from heating, which accounts for almost 50% of energy use in the UK and one third of the country's total carbon emissions.    

ITM Power will provide the electrolyser for HyDeploy, with construction to start at the end of 2018. The electrolyser will be powered by renewable energy.

The project has been granted by the HSE an exemption to the current limit of 0.1% hydrogen in the UK gas network after demonstrating the hydrogen blend would be "as safe as natural gas." Across Europe, this limit varies from 0.1% in the UK to up to 12% in parts of the Netherlands, according to the announcement.

(GBP 1 = USD 1.307/EUR 1.144)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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