Projects have been running behind the scenes in a bid to introduce hydrogen into our gas system. Ultimately, the goal is to decarbonise the UK, making homes more eco-friendly.
Hy Deploy Project
The first trial of the Hy Deploy project took place at Keele University from 2019 to 2021. The project involved simulating 12 years of boiler use using a hydrogen blend.
The project was successful, and if the UK roll out a 20% hydrogen blend as a result, we will save an estimated six million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. (Source: Keele.ac.uk)
So now, the industry has begun introducing hydrogen-ready boilers and 100% hydrogen appliances.
As a result, The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) membership of appliance manufacturers has agreed to new, clear labelling for hydrogen appliances.
The new boiler labels display the three categories of hydrogen appliances:
- Hydrogen Blend Compatible – capable of running on a blend of up to 20% hydrogen.
- Hydrogen Ready – capable of running on a 20% blend but installers can convert it to run on 100% hydrogen.
- 100% Hydrogen – an appliance has been purpose build to run on hydrogen without conversion.
Stewart Clements, director of HHIC, believes the new boiler labels will bring clarity to installers and consumers.
“These labels bring clarity to consumers and installers. As we go on the journey towards decarbonising the gas networks, industry needs to be absolutely transparent on what appliance can and can’t do.
The labelling has been agreed by the appliance manufactueres and will be used by them to clearly identify products. It will also help communicate the changes that will take place in UK homes, as we work towards achieving net-zero.
Replacing natural gas in the network, which will take place in the coming decades, has already started in pilot trials. From 2023, the Government want to see hydrogen blending take place, with a decision in 2026 about the conversion towards a 100 percent hydrogen gas network.
Decarbonsing homes this way will be cheaper for consumers, involve less disruption, minimising upfront costs and by using Gas Safe engineers, will work with the current installer workforce.
Future of the Industry
The government plan to see hydrogen blending begin by 2023. And, by 2026, it will decide on the prospect of converting to a 100% hydrogen gas network.
This timeframe will allow existing engineers to upskill in the renewables sector of the industry before any significant changes.