The UK’s gas network operators have set themselves the ambitious target of delivering the world’s first zero carbon gas grid, as part of a major new programme dubbed ‘Gas Goes Green’. The initiative, which is being orchestrated by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), brings together leading gas operators such as Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, and National Grid to jointly explore how to research, co-ordinate, and deliver a national switchover to hydrogen-ready boilers. Launched this week, the programme will be spearheaded by former Cadent CEO Chris Train, who is being billed as the UK’s first ‘Green Gas Champion’. In addition to working to boost prospects for the nascent hydrogen industry, the initiative will also investigate how to accelerate the use of biomethane across the grid, making it easier for farmers and other businesses to inject biogas into the grid. “We’re delighted to not only be launching this exciting new programme, but also to be making clear our commitment to creating the world’s zero carbon gas grid,” said Matt Hindle, head of gas at ENA. “Gas Goes Green will deliver the green-print needed to do that, and in doing so tackle some of the biggest challenges facing decarbonisation policy.” The project is now set to play into the government’s on-going work to develop a strategy for decarbonising building heating across the UK. Experts have warned that fully decarbonising heating systems remains one of the biggest technical challenges as the UK seeks to deliver on its target to build a net zero emission economy by 2050, and a number of competing routes for decarbonising heating and cooking systems are under consideration. The companies involved in the Gas Goes Green initiative argue that with 23 million properties and 85 per cent of Britain’s homes connected to the gas grid the network provides a cost-effective foundation for decarbonising heat through the use of hydrogen and biomethane. A study by carried out by consultancy Navigant last year on behalf of network companies concluded that creating a zero carbon gas grid is both possible and could help save billpayers up to £13bn a year compared to the alternative methods of decarbonising heat and transport.
Business Green 16th April 2020 read more »