Hydrogen gas could be piped to millions of homes to be used for heating and cooking under government plans to meet climate change targets by phasing out natural gas. A £25 million government-funded research programme will investigate whether hydrogen can be safely and reliably distributed to homes using the existing gas supply network. Leeds is being lined up as the first city to convert its gas grid to hydrogen. Northern Gas Networks (NGN), which distributes gas across northern England, is working with Leeds city council to investigate the conversion. Switching to hydrogen would cut carbon dioxide emissions from home heating by 73 per cent, according to a study by NGN. NGN proposes creating hydrogen from natural gas in “steam methane reformer” plants fitted with equipment to capture the CO2 and pipe it to be stored under the North Sea. Household gas appliances may have to be converted or replaced to burn hydrogen. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said that the £25 million would partly be spent on demonstrating “that safe, reliable, efficient and affordable end-use appliances and equipment can be developed”.
Times 21st June 2017 read more »