Greener future ahead thanks to £6m boost for Derbyshire research centre

A Buxton research centre has been awarded a further £6.8million to continue its work in testing a hydrogen network as an alternative to gas.

H21, the UK gas industry programme focused on converting the network to carry 100% hydrogen, has been awarded the funding to support a second phase of research and development, part of which will involve testing operational and maintenance procedures on the gas network.

The collaborative industry project is establishing the critical safety evidence to prove a hydrogen network is a viable alternative to the natural gas network heating homes and businesses.

Led by Northern Gas Networks, in collaboration with Cadent, Wales & West Utilities, SGN and new project partners National Grid Gas Transmission, H21’s second stage will begin in January 2020. 

Mark Horsley, CEO for Northern Gas Networks, said: The research being carried out under the H21 NIC is essential for enabl ing the UK to move towards a greener future.

“We’re delighted that our regulator recognises the importance of the evidence being delivered, and to be undertaking phase two of this ground-breaking project on behalf of the industry. We firmly believe repurposing the network to carry 100% hydrogen would represent a huge step forward towards meeting the UK’s sustainability targets, as well as having a crucial role to play in satisfying customer expectations for a cost-effective and minimal impact transition to lower carbon energy.

“Our research will not only enable policymakers to progress a policy decision on hydrogen, but will also bring customers along on the journey.”

 Phil Sheppard, director of gas t ransmission at National Grid, said:  “The second phase of H21 represents a major step forward in realising a decarbonised gas future. National Grid Gas Transmission are pleased to be joining our distribution colleagues in the consortium.”

 For more information about H21, visit www.h21.green.  

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24 hours a day.