Keele University partners in £7m ‘green gas’ project

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Posted on 30 November 2016

Keele University is set to be part of a ground-breaking programme to demonstrate the use of blended hydrogen - a ‘green’ gas - in the national gas grid.

The HyDeploy Consortium, led by National Grid plc and Northern Gas Networks Ltd, has been awarded funding under the industry-regulator-Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC), which supports energy projects that demonstrate environmental benefits, cost reductions and security of supply.

Heat currently contributes to a third of the UK’s carbon emissions. Reducing the carbon intensity of heating using green gases such as blended hydrogen has the potential to contribute to the UK’s substantial carbon savings commitments, with minimal disruption to customers, as it uses their current gas supply and needs no changes to the existing pipework or appliances.

The HyDeploy project will be the first UK practical deployment of hydrogen onto a live gas network since the transition from town gas. Successful demonstration of the project has the potential to unlock savings of £8 billion to customers and avoid 120 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost of Keele University, said:

“Energy and sustainability is a key overarching institutional priority for Keele University, and we are delighted to be a partner in this important, highly relevant and prestigious project.  This collaborative project tackles one of the major societal challenges and has the potential to be highly impactful and lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions”.

The £6.8 million funding, together with £760k contributed by National Grid and Northern Gas Networks, will be used to provide hydrogen production and injection facilities.

The three-year project will begin in 2017 and the results will be used to inform a further public trial of the use of hydrogen-blended natural gas in the UK grid, with the intention of then rolling out the use of hydrogen blends nationwide.

David Parkin Director of Network Strategy at National Grid, said:

“Ofgem’s decision to award National Grid £6.8million recognises the important role for the UK’s world class gas grid in delivering low carbon heat.  We believe introducing a hydrogen blend nationally has the potential to save over six-million tonnes of carbon emissions every year and could unlock even wider savings through more extensive use of hydrogen.”

Martin Alderson, Asset Management Director for Northern Gas Networks, said:

“This is an extremely exciting time for the energy industry.  We believe this project will prove blended hydrogen gas can be distributed and used safely and efficiently in the existing gas network, an essential pre-requisite for the wider deployment of clean, cost-effective hydrogen in the UK gas grid.”