21 Oct 2022

Capital Hydrogen – Hydrogen Vision to Decarbonise London

21 Oct 2022  by   
Capital Hydrogen, a partnership of GB gas network operators, has set out how hydrogen can help London become net carbon zero by 2030.

Image: Capital Hydrogen

The three gas companies, the DNOs Cadent and SGN and TSO National Grid Gas Transmission, have assessed that by 2050 London would need at least 40TWh per year of hydrogen to decarbonise heating, transport and power generation for the over 2.6 million homes and 200,000 businesses.

This would be well covered with the estimated 100-170TWh per year of potential hydrogen production and 200TWh of storage potential in the region.

Capital Hydrogen has been set out as a 15-20 year programme to prepare the pipeline networks of London and the southeast and east of England for a transition to hydrogen.

Potential hydrogen production and/or import hubs are identified at coastal locations including Bacton, Lowestoft and Felixstowe in East Anglia, on both the north and south banks of the Thames to the east of London and at Southampton to the southwest, with most of the interconnecting pipelines requiring repurposing.

Two new 100% hydrogen pipelines also would be needed to link the production and demand in the Thames estuary region, where there are a number of large industrial users, with both, one on each bank, able to be in operation by 2030.

Both also could deliver hydrogen blending into the natural gas grid to support decarbonisation of the existing residential gas supply across London.

Sally Brewis, Head of Regional Development at Cadent, says that the study has demonstrated the pathway to meeting London’s 2030 and 2050 hydrogen needs, using hydrogen produced in the wider region.

“We’ve also identified a near-term opportunity to meet the decarbonisation needs of scores of East London’s industrial, transport and heat network operators using hydrogen delivered through our proposed new pipelines.”

Graham Cox, SGN Project, adds that the study shows that hydrogen is “a real option for how customers heat their homes in a net zero world, also providing home-grown energy and helping boost the UK’s energy security.”

The companies report positive engagements and overwhelming support from potential users for the proposed new Thames estuary pipelines, which also could support a network of hydrogen refuelling stations.

National Grid Gas Transmission CEO Jon Butterworth says that hydrogen is essential in the journey to net zero emissions.

“In Capital Hydrogen, we would provide resilience by connecting southeast and UK-wide hydrogen production and storage to customers and to distribution networks across the region, stimulating the market and the investment needed in hydrogen production.”


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