Worcester Bosch has said hydrogen can play a vital role in the future of the mains gas network, by helping the government to contribute to global carbon reduction targets.
In its newly published report, ‘The Future of Fuel’, Worcester Bosch takes an in-depth look at how the UK can successfully decarbonise heat and hot water generation without radically changing the way 85% of households heat their homes.
According to the report, decarbonising the supply running through the mains gas network would not only cost three times less than the government’s current aim of electrification, but would also allow the UK’s longstanding infrastructure to remain. Consequently, UK homeowners would avoid having to have a heat pump installed, as proposed by the Climate Change Committee, with the overwhelming majority (73%) currently falling some way short of the insulation levels required for a heat pump to deliver.
As well as comparing hydrogen with natural gas, ‘The Future of Fuel’ also takes a close look at the technical requirements of a hydrogen boiler before going on to answer many of the questions likely to arise as the prospect of a hydrogen-supplied gas network grows in interest.
The report concluded with a three-stage roadmap towards a sustainable gas network, which calls upon the government to free up R&D funding, demonstrate commitment to infrastructure, and support heating engineers.
Mike Foster, CEO of the Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA) and author of the report’s introduction, commented: “Numerous studies have shown that switching to electricity is a more expensive option for the UK and it will struggle to meet demand in a cold snap. Low carbon gas in our homes will be the cheapest, most secure, and most flexible source of energy we can deploy. The fact that it meets our international obligations too, should be something we welcome.”
Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch, added: “If the ultimate objective is to decarbonise heat, it would be very short-sighted to try and do so by removing gas from 26 million homes.
“The UK’s established gas infrastructure has worked incredibly well for many years, which presents us with a massive opportunity. We can leave it untouched, replacing only the chemical make-up of matter running through it to a carbon-free alternative.
As ever, however, political will is vital if we are to use hydrogen as a means to achieving our goal of carbon reduction.”
The Future of Fuel: What the future holds for the UK’s mains gas network, is now available to download in full via the Worcester Bosch website at worcester-bosch.co.uk/hydrogen.