While there are three potential hydrogen heating solutions including hydrogen ready boilers, H2 hybrid heating (heat pump + hydrogen boiler) and hydrogen blending in the natural gas network, the latter was identified as the likely solution for Ireland.
While the other hydrogen heating solutions are technically feasible, they are restricted by connectivity to the gas network and the availability of more efficient heating solutions such as heat pumps.
The process, which involves blending up to 20% hydrogen with natural gas in the gas network, provides a non-disruptive solution to the consumers and generates substantial CO2 savings. We estimated that there would be ~1 TWh of hydrogen demand annually to supply the hydrogen needed in the domestic sector.
Deva Devaraj, Modelling Analyst at Cornwall Insight, said: “The residential sector accounts for 29% of Ireland’s total CO2 emissions, which is significantly higher than the UK’s 14%. Hydrogen blending could be a tool in curbing the residential CO2 emissions in the short term as it is cheaper when compared to other low-carbon heating solutions.
“A tonne of CO2 emissions can be avoided annually by switching just seven Irish households to 20% hydrogen blended gas, which can be a significant saving. However, only a third of the households are connected to the gas network which greatly limits the implementation of hydrogen-based solutions.