An exciting next step in tackling climate change
Currently 30% of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK are generated from the gas used to heat the 85% of homes which are connected to the gas network. By 2050 there will be net zero carbon emissions in the UK which means there is a huge challenge to change the gas we use.
There are a number of projects ongoing to understand the potential of hydrogen as, unlike the natural gas (methane) currently supplied, it creates no carbon.
HyDeploy is a project run by gas distributors Cadent and Northern Gas Networks along with partners including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The project sees a blend of up to 20% hydrogen added to the existing gas supply. The use of the blended gas requires no change to appliances and customers do not notice any difference to their gas supply.
The blended gas has already been successfully supplied to Keele University campus.
Next, the community of Winlaton will make history, and play an important part in the future of hydrogen use, by becoming the first public network to receive a 20% hydrogen blend.
The 670 houses in the trial area of Winlaton plus the church, primary school and several businesses will all receive the hydrogen blend for a period of around 10 months starting in Spring 2021.
Northern Gas Networks runs the Winlaton network and has the support of Gateshead Council. A rigorous approach to safety has been adopted and the project team has worked with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Free gas safety checks for appliances have already been carried out at all the properties which will receive the blended gas.
This exciting project is a vital step towards using hydrogen in the public gas network and the results will be submitted to the Government to help form policies about the future of gas. If blended gas was distributed to homes and businesses across the country, it could prevent 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being released to the atmosphere every year. That’s the same as taking 2.5 million cars off the roads so the project is hugely important.
Frequently asked questions
Will it cost me anything?
During the demonstration, the hydrogen element of customers’ gas bills will be free of charge. We’re liaising with the different gas suppliers involved to work out the best way of administering this and will then inform customers
Will I notice any difference in my home or will my appliances operate differently on hydrogen?
No. You shouldn’t notice any difference in how your gas appliances operate with blended gas and this was proven at Keele. Since 1996, the Gas Appliance Directive has required all gas appliances to be tested on a blend of 23% hydrogen before they can be approved for market, therefore you shouldn’t notice any difference in how your appliances operate, look or feel. During our project at Keele University residents confirmed they noticed no difference in their gas supply.
Is it safe?
Yes. The HSE has already approved the use of blended gas at Keele university and the gas is legally compliant and considered as safe as the natural gas (methane) currently supplied. The same rigorous assessment process is being undertaken to enable use of this gas at Winlaton. Northern Gas Networks is overseeing the safe management of the pilot and highly-qualified Gas Safe engineers completed the safety checks.
Why was Winlaton chosen for the project?
Winlaton is located close to Northern Gas Network’s site at Low Thornley where a number of exciting hydrogen projects are underway including the construction of the UKs first house to be supplied by 100% hydrogen. The network around Winlaton is a closed network and very typical of many gas networks in the UK, making it an ideal community to receive the first blended gas.
Where does the hydrogen come from?
The hydrogen for this trial is being safely supplied one of the UK’s major gas companies. The hydrogen is then blended with normal gas and injected into the network, in much the same way biomethane gas is put into the network.
Click below to find out more about Hydrogen in Winlaton, Gateshead.
Click below to see a short animation about the Gas Safe checks.