Britain is set to benefit from the world's first zero carbon gas grid, after the launch of a major new project by the country's five gas network companies.
The Gas Goes Green programme will deliver the changes needed to move Britain's network of 284,000km of gas pipelines from delivering methane-based natural gas to zero carbon hydrogen and biomethane. The move will ensure the country's gas network infrastructure is ready for households and businesses to switch to a new generation of hydrogen-ready boilers, to help meet the UK's climate change targets.
23 million properties and 85% of Britain’s homes are connected to its gas grid, making it one of the most extensive in the world. Recent research found that that creating zero carbon gas grid in the UK is not only possible but that it could help save billpayers up to £13bn a year compared to the alternative methods of decarbonising heat and transport.
Gas Goes Green will be spearheaded by Chris Train, the UK’s first Green Gas Champion and the former CEO of gas distribution network Cadent.
In its first phase, the Programme will:
- Agree and deliver a 17-step Hydrogen Transformation Plan for preparing Britain for a national gas boiler switchover scheme.
- Undertake the technical and operational research necessary for the Government to make changes to regulations for using hydrogen and renewable gases in the gas networks.
- Agree and deliver the updated safety measures for running a zero carbon gas grid.
- Make changes to connections to the gas grid, to make it easier for farmers and other businesses to feed in green gases like biomethane into the local gas grid.
The project brings together gas networks with civil servants, engineering and policy experts to solve the operational and technical issues associated with delivering a zero carbon gas grid. Changes will be delivered following regulatory approval.
Gas network companies have been running trials for using hydrogen and other green gas in projects around the country, including at Keele University, which has the world’s first live demonstration of using hydrogen for heating in homes.