Government seeks views on ‘temporary’ hydrogen blending but accepts it will be in shrinking gas distribution network

The government has begun a consultation on blending hydrogen into the existing gas distribution network.
DESNZ described the option as ‘transitional’ because it relies on an extensive natural gas network being available, but the network “will reduce as we progress to net zero”. It said blending may have “a limited and temporary role in gas decarbonisation as we move away from the use of natural gas”.
The consultation said that hydrogen is expected to be most valuable in industries for which direct electrification is not an option. To build up that market, “Blending may help hydrogen producers sell sufficient volumes of hydrogen”.
It also asks whether blending would “have value in strategically enabling electrolytic hydrogen producers to support the wider energy system.” That is because those located behind electricity network constraints could use excess renewable electricity that would otherwise have been curtailed. It added that it would be unlikely to support hydrogen projects using carbon capture and storage that expected blending to be a majority offtaker.
DESNZ asked about the safety and usability of fixed or variable blends up to 20% by volume) and whether there would be a cost to your business (e.g. from replacing equipment, adjusting production levels or requiring deblending equipment and processes)?
The government said any strategic policy decision on blending taken in 2023 will be based on blending into the existing GB gas distribution networks only. Government will separately assess the case for supporting blending into GB gas transmission networks, which may be subject to a separate policy decision at a later date.
See the full consultation here

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