By Heather Norris Nicholson
KLTV’s sponsored articles about Northern Gas Networks continue with details of their work to use hydrogen to heat the region’s homes and businesses.
H21, Northern Gas Networks’ programme to develop the use of hydrogen as a green fuel of the future, has received the 2020 Pipeline Industries Guild Award for ‘Best Land-Based Pipeline Project’.
This is very exciting news for a project that started in West Yorkshire.
Back in 2015, a desktop feasibility study explored how to convert the city’s gas network and heat local homes and businesses using hydrogen. Five years on, H21 has developed into a major UK collaboration with national and international partners.
Pipedreams have grown into reality as H21 starts trials at testing facilities in Cumbria and, subject to planning approval, on a disused stretch of the gas network near Redcar in North Yorkshire.
Using Hydrogen as a Fuel
Hydrogen is a clean fuel that produces only water, electricity and heat. It has many potential applications for clean energy and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
In recent years, finding ways to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions has become increasingly urgent. As governments come under growing pressure to respond to climate change and invest in greener technologies, H21’s success also signals another chapter in the region’s long history of energy production and puts a spotlight on Yorkshire innovation and research.
Importantly, Northern Gas Networks’ H21 project points to the possibility of hydrogen having a key role to play in the nation’s future energy mix. These trials will provide information that could help to inform the UK government’s decisions on investing in hydrogen as an energy source.
If H21 can successfully convert an existing gas network to hydrogen, it could help to reduce emissions significantly with minimal disruption to consumers.
Findings will boost the UK’s chances of becoming a leading global player in developing what experts call a hydrogen economy. Researchers from Leeds Beckett University are also finding out how local people react to the idea of hydrogen as a source of heating.
Speaking about H21’s success, Tim Harwood, the project’s Programme Director at Northern Gas Networks said: “We are very proud to win this award, especially at a time when hydrogen is being recognised internationally as means of achieving green-minded economic recovery.
“We’d like to share this award with our many partner organisations who are working on H21 here in the UK and abroad.”
Speaking on behalf of the awards committee at the British Pipelines Guild, Sean Greenwood said: “[They] felt that the H21 project is one of the biggest that will hit the UK gas distribution system.
“It was a worthy winner of the Pipeline Concept award for an up and coming project that will have a major impact on the pipeline industry in the near future.”
And, if the UK government is really committed to investing in low carbon technologies, that future is not so far off.
All being well, H21’s conversion work could begin in 2028, with expansion across 3.7 million properties across parts of North and West Yorkshire and further afield by 2035.
The ultimate aim is to make Northern Gas Network’s H21 project a significant player in making hydrogen a viable energy source, helping to make the planet that bit cleaner. Any news on that front must be welcome.
Northern Gas Networks delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses in the North East, Northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire. They employ 1,300 people, as well as providing regular work to approximately 800 contractors.
Kirklees Local TV is working in partnership with NGN to highlight promote the work they do across the region.