Scottish Homes to Be Heated by ‘100% Green’ Hydrogen Gas

by Ilona Amos, science and technology manager, The Scotsman,

Households in Scotland could be using “100% green” hydrogen for cooking and heating if plans for a new world-first gas network get approved. Under the proposal from gas distribution network company SGN, an initial 300 homes in Levenmouth, a part of Scotland’s Fife region, will have access to clean hydrogen within two to three years. Hydrogen created from water through the process of electrolysis, powered by an offshore wind turbine, will then be stored in tanks ready for use. New pipework will be built to take the gas to homes, where it can be used in place of natural gas for cooking and heating.

The pioneering hydrogen production, storage and supply network will run alongside the current natural gas system in the area, with eligible households able to choose whether or not to opt in.

SPN says the system will be designed and built to ensure at least the same safety and reliability standards expected from the current gas system, while on-site storage will hold enough hydrogen to ensure supply won’t be disrupted during even the coldest weather conditions.

Construction is expected to begin early next year if plans are approved by the UK’s energy industry regulator.

Angus McIntosh, director of energy futures at SGN, believes hydrogen has great potential among the options for decarbonizing heat, offering an attractive, easily installed and relatively low cost solution for customers. He adds, “Hydrogen is an exciting energy vector that at scale could provide levels of safe, secure, reliable and affordable energy similar to what we enjoy now, with minimal disruption for customers.” “The project will provide key national evidence for hydrogen’s role in the UK’s energy transition and critical insight into the customer value proposition of hydrogen for heat.”

H100 Fife has passed the first screening submission process for Ofgem’s annual Network Innovation Competition, and a full bid for funding will be submitted this summer. The plan is part of the national Gas Goes Green initiative, a series of projects from all five UK gas network companies to demonstrate the potential role of hydrogen for heat.

SGN is working on two other hydrogen research projects in Scotland as part of Gas Goes Green—Aberdeen Vision, aimed at upping hydrogen usage in the Northeast, and LTS Future, which is investigating whether existing oil and gas infrastructure can be repurposed for and used to transport captured carbon dioxide or liquid hydrogen.