Vaillant and EUA discuss latest developments in hydrogen heating

Vaillant and EUA discuss latest developments in hydrogen heating

The Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) reports that the government has committed to hydrogen heating for UK homes in a landmark speech by one of the key ministers responsible for energy strategy.

In a debate on the potential for hydrogen and a new HyNet Hydrogen Village trial at Whitby near Ellesmere Port, which is running alongside the Hy4Heat programme, the Rt Hon George Freeman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, welcomed the trials as a vital first step towards gathering the necessary evidence for a wider roll-out.

He said: “We want to make sure that the trials lay the foundation for a wider nationwide roll-out. The BEIS-funded Hy4Heat programme has shown that the use of 100% hydrogen can be made as safe as natural gas when used for heating and cooking in the types of houses that were studied.

“[The trials] are designed to provide the government with the necessary evidence to take big strategic decisions on heating within a matter of two or three years. I know the ambition that colleagues have shared today to go further and faster is shared by the Secretary of State, The Minister for Energy and the Prime Minister. It is not lack of political will that is holding us back.”

Responding to the Minister’s comments, Mike Foster, Chief Executive of the EUA, commented: “The government’s endorsement of a hydrogen future using our world-class gas distribution network is a tribute to the hard work of the heating industry in developing hydrogen technologies.”

Mike also praised the commitment of boiler manufacturers to provide hydrogen boilers at no greater cost than current technologies — a commitment that was brokered by the EUA. “The Big Four boiler manufacturers’ price promise was noted by BEIS and has proven to be a decisive factor in the government’s commitment to a hydrogen future. The benefits for the climate, consumers and the heating industry have been made very clear and the government has responded.”

Put into practice

In related news, Vaillant has spoken of its involvement in a new project which sees 100% hydrogen demonstrated for home heating for the first time utilising the existing gas network. The scheme is set to provide valuable data to be used in the next stage of the government’s hydrogen roll out — the hydrogen village.

Located near a small number of homes in South Bank, Middlesbrough, H21 South Bank is currently underway — led by Northern Gas Network with support from DNV. As part of the project, Vaillant has installed its hydrogen boiler within a bespoke facility, purpose built to utilise the existing underground gas pipework. The boiler is the manufacturer’s first wall-mounted condensing boiler to have been adapted and certificated to operate with 100% hydrogen, according to the Gas Appliance Regulation, for installation in pilot sites in real operation mode.

The demonstration project will form the foundations of the next stage of the government’s commitment to rolling out a hydrogen village by 2025. The hydrogen village is expected to convert up to 2,000 occupied homes and commercial buildings with 100% hydrogen for a minimum of 12 months.

Mark Wilkins, Vaillant’s Technologies and Training Director, said: “As the need to decarbonise the way we heat our home intensifies, it’s now vital that the industry support as many projects as possible to ensure the government’s hydrogen roadmap can be successfully delivered.”

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