Radical plans to use hydrogen to heat UK homes and businesses have moved a step closer after the Government’s official climate advisers said the plan was “technically feasible” and called for major trials to be undertaken. In a report, the Committee on Climate Change identified using hydrogen in place of natural gas in the UK’s existing gas grid as one of the two “main options” for greening Britain’s heating supplies. It said the second was the use of heat pumps, which use a reverse refrigeration process to draw heat from the air, ground or a water source. The Government must decide by 2025 what role hydrogen will play in order to implement its chosen plan in time to hit its 2050 climate targets, Matthew Bell, the CCC chief executive, said. About 80pc of UK homes are currently heated using natural gas from the grid, which produces carbon dioxide when burnt. Influential voices including energy giant Centrica and the think tank Policy Exchange have recently questioned the idea of widespread use of heat pumps, which can be disruptive to install in homes and require electricity to produce heat – potentially increasing the strain and cost on the UK’s power infrastructure. Distribution grid owner Northern Gas Networks has proposed the use of hydrogen, which would require new household appliances but could be distributed in existing gas grids. It has drawn up plans to convert the city of Leeds to run on hydrogen as a precursor to a £50bn national roll-out.
Telegraph 12th Oct 2016 read more »