By Jaime Llinares Taboada

 

U.K. gas grid companies intend to deliver the country's first 100% hydrogen-fuelled town by 2030, the Energy Networks Association said Thursday.

National Grid PLC, Northern Gas Networks Ltd., Cadent Gas Ltd., Scotia Gas Networks Ltd. and Wales & West Utilities Ltd.--which, combined, transport natural gas to 85% of British homes--have set a framework to transform the country's gas networks so that they can deliver hydrogen instead.

The ambition to convert a large town by 2030 is part of the plan's pilot stage and will start with a neighborhood trial in 2023. This is as the companies want to be ready to blend hydrogen into the gas distribution grid at up to 20% volume by 2023. In terms of production, they expect 1 gigawatt by 2025 and 5 gigawatts by 2030.

After that, a scaling-up phase is projected for 2030-2040, when hydrogen production would be connected to networks and its use would become more widespread for domestic appliances such as heating, heavy transport and power generation. A full transition to hydrogen as a major substitute of polluting fuels is expected to materialize in 2040-2050.

The ENA estimates hydrogen can remove around 41 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or 12% of total U.K. emissions. The deployment of hydrogen across the country could create 43,000 jobs for industrial decarbonization alone, 195,000 if the fuel plays a full role economy-wide, and 221,000 if Britain becomes a major hydrogen exporter, the ENA said.

 

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com; @JaimeLlinaresT

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 20, 2021 19:15 ET (00:15 GMT)

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