Surrounded by pine trees in a remote patch of the RAF Spadeadam base in Cumbria, three purpose-built houses are being used to test out a vision of the future that could soon be rolled out to homes across the UK. The homes in “Hy Street” are being heated with 100pc hydrogen, the clean-burning gas that is being explored as a possible replacement for fossil fuels in the rush to decarbonise. A stack of red canisters outside is providing the fuel for now, but National Grid is also building a mock-up of the grid next door to test how hydrogen, which is lighter and more flammable than natural gas, behaves in the pipes. So far, so good, say those running the trial, which is one of several being run around the UK to help determine whether hydrogen can be used instead of natural gas at scale to heat the UK’s homes and offices. Those trials include at Keele University where a blend of 20pc hydrogen and natural gas is being piped into homes; in Fife, Scotland, where SGN will heat around 300 homes using hydrogen from a wind-powered electrolysis plant; and Wales and West Utilities’ project to test hybrid systems combining hydrogen and electricity.
Telegraph 3rd May 2021 read more »