Approval granted for project to heat homes using green hydrogen
UK gas distributor SGN has been given approval to supply hydrogen produced using renewables to around 300 Scottish homes. Participating households should be able to start heating their homes and cooking their meals with the gas from the end of 2022.
For the H100 Fife demonstration project at Levenmouth, Fife, hydrogen will be produced by an electrolysis plant, with a local offshore wind turbine providing the electricity needed to split the gas from water.
"When powered by renewable energy, the generation and burning of hydrogen produces no carbon, making it the most effective, scalable way of providing heating while fighting climate change," states the project page.
The production plant will include on-site storage facilities to make sure that there's no disruption in supply, even in adverse weather conditions.
The project is reported to be the first of its kind to produce the gas for domestic heating using a "clean power supply," and for Levenmouth residents who opt into the trial, the hydrogen will be fed into their homes through existing pipes and there will be no need to replace such things as radiators or plumbing.
The connection, replacement appliances (such as boilers and cookers) and system maintenance will be free for the duration of the trial, and SGN says that participants will pay the same for their hydrogen usage as they would for natural gas. The project is expected to be operational until March 2027.
As well as giving the H100 Fife project the green light, energy regular Ofgem will also award up to £18 million (about US$24 million) from its annual Network Innovation Competition to support the development, while the Scottish government has added another £6.9 million to the funding pot.
The demonstration project is being viewed as an important first step on the road to the UK government's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 – the Scottish government is aiming to get there by 2045. There is also talk of having the first "Hydrogen Town" up and running in the UK by 2030, and ramping up hydrogen production to 5 GW.
Construction of the production, storage and demonstration facilities are due to being by the end of this year. The video below provides an overview of the project.