A new report has sets out how the gas grid could be converted to hydrogen. The H21 Leeds City Gate report suggests that converting the Leeds gas network should be a first step towards a UK-wide conversion, which could reduce emissions from the heat, transport and power sectors by 73%.
The report suggests converting natural gas into hydrogen using steam methane reforming and CCS to capture and store the carbon dioxide created during the conversion – with hydrogen remaining as a zero-carbon fuel that can be used for heating, transport and electricity.
The earliest a city’s gas network could be converted was 2015, the report said. This would require the government to commit to the strategic, incremental material conversion of the UK gas grid by 2021. Ofgem would need to direct gas distribution networks to allow provision for the first conversions within their GD2 business plans (2021–2029) by 2018. Leeds would make a good pilot city as it’s close to existing hydrogen infrastructure at Teesside and the salt beds north of Hull
The report estimated the cost of conversion in the Leeds area to be £2,054m, of which £1,053m would be converting domestic, commercial and industrial appliances. Ongoing costs for carbon capture and storage, Steam Methane Reforming, salt cavern storage and efficiency losses would cost £139m per year.
The report was published by a collaboration between Northern Gas Networks (NGN), Wales & West Utilities, Kiwa Gastex and Amec Foster Wheeler.
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