Centrica is set to support National Grid to establish methods for injecting green hydrogen into the National Transmission System (NTS).
To meet the net zero targets set by the UK government, the UK gas networks need to decarbonise. National Grid, alongside CNG Services, Element Energy and Centrica, have been granted £114,652 for a discovery phase project as part of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) competition.
Currently, there is no formal process in place for injecting green hydrogen, made from electrolysis using surplus renewable electricity, into the NTS - in large part because it is a relatively new process and up until now it has not been required.
While there is an established process in place for large entry and exit connections, previous innovation projects such as this have led to the creation of an improved process for smaller connections such as biomethane.
The project, the first of three phases, will build on the outcomes of previous projects, to fully understand what’s needed to establish a connections process for injecting green hydrogen into the NTS. Alongside this, it will review the economics of both green hydrogen production and injection, to inform the development of appropriate financial incentives.
If successful, this project (and the potential follow-up phases) will enable excess renewable electricity to be used to create hydrogen, which can then be injected into the gas network – an example of a ‘whole system’ approach to reaching net zero.
"The ambition of this project is to help understand and overcome some of the barriers to realising an emissions free hydrogen gas grid."
William Mezzullo, Head of Hydrogen at Centrica
The project would also likely see National Grid Gas Transmission include hydrogen injection in their connections policy and would create the necessary conditions for increased investment in green hydrogen production.
John Baldwin, Managing Director of CNG Services, said, “We are very pleased to support National Grid in this initiative which builds on the successful development of the biomethane market in the UK. The NTS is a particularly valuable asset for the creation of a Green Hydrogen market with prospects for significant investment in the next few years as Green H2 coupled with a Guarantee of Origin system helps I&C customers to replace the natural gas they consume.”
William Mezzullo, Head of Hydrogen at Centrica, said, “The ambition of this project is to help understand and overcome some of the barriers to realising an emissions free hydrogen gas grid. We see hydrogen as having an important role in helping our customers transition to net zero by 2050.”
Ian Walker, a Partner at Element Energy, said, “Transitioning to low carbon gases in the gas network has the potential to play a key role in decarbonising the energy system. In this project, Element Energy will assess the economics of producing green H2 for injection into the gas transmission network and identify the conditions necessary to make projects attractive to investors.”
This project is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem, managed in partnership with Innovate UK.
National Grid in the UK:
- We own and operate the electricity transmission network in England and Wales, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. We also operate, but do not own, the Scottish networks. Our networks comprise approximately 7,200 kilometres (4,474 miles) of overhead line, 1,500 kilometres (932 miles) of underground cable and 342 substations.
- We own and operate the gas National Transmission System in Great Britain, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. Our network comprises approximately 7,660 kilometres (4,760 miles) of high-pressure pipe and 618 above-ground installations. As Great Britain’s gas system operator, we make sure that gas is transported safely and efficiently from where it is produced to where it is consumed.
Find out more about the energy challenge and how National Grid is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we face at https://www.nationalgrid.com/stories.
National Grid undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this release, which speaks only as at the date of this release, unless required by law or regulation.
CNG Services Limited (CSL) provides consultancy, design and build services to the biomethane industry, all focused on reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. In the past 10 years our efforts have produced a material impact with an estimated 20-year project life reduction in CO2 emissions of 17,500,000 tonnes
About Element Energy
Element Energy, founded in 2003, provides integrated solutions to help clients deploy low-carbon technologies and supporting systems on a large scale. The company drives the development, commercialization and deployment of emerging low-carbon technologies, often for the first time, through its work with organizations, and its leadership role in international research and development consortia.
About the Strategic Innovation Fund
The purpose of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund is to support network innovation that will contribute to achieving Net Zero rapidly and at lowest cost; deliver real net benefits to network companies, energy users and consumers; and help the UK to become a ‘Silicon Valley’ of energy. It aims to work with other public funders of innovation so that activities appropriately funded by energy users and consumers are coordinated with activities funded by Government. The Fund is delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.
Ofgem is Britain’s independent energy regulator. Their role is to protect consumers now and in the future by working to deliver a greener, fairer energy system. They do this by:
- Working with Government, industry and consumer groups to deliver a net zero economy at the lowest cost to consumers
- Stamping out sharp and bad practice, ensuring fair treatment for all consumers, especially the vulnerable.
- Enabling competition and innovation, which drives down prices and results in new products and services for consumers.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency, part of UK Research and Innovation. It drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.”
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