Hydrogen Production Facility UK
A hydrogen production facility is being planned for the mid-2020s. After much debate about its viability as a heating fuel, is this the first concrete step towards a hydrogen heating network?
UK energy companies, Drax Group, National Grid Ventures and Equinor, have formed a partnership and committed to developing a hydrogen production facility in the UK. This is one of the first significant steps towards making a hydrogen heating network a reality in the foreseeable future. The production facility and Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) network is planned to be constructed by the mid-2020s.
The news comes at the same time as the government announced the new decarbonisation target of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050. The original target in the Climate Change Act of 2008 the targets were set at an 80% reduction compared to 1990 levels. The increased urgency is in response to recommendations by the Climate Change Committee's recent reports. The UK is currently not on target to meet the original decarbonisation target without a significant overhaul of our energy and heating systems. This push from the government is a direct response to the CCC's recommendations to commit to renewable energy technologies sooner rather than later.
Hydrogen has been used as a heating fuel in China for many years but the technology has yet to be rolled out in any significant way in the UK. However, things look set to change in that area too. Worcester Bosch has recently presented a prototype of a hydrogen boiler to the Climate Change Committee's CEO and Viessmann's Vitovalor CHP system already produces hydrogen during operation.
With this new commitment from the energy industry to have a hydrogen production facility in place in the next decade, it seems a hydrogen heating network could be closer to becoming a reality than many expected.