Blending hydrogen, reasons to be cheerful.
31st Jan 2022
Last week I wrote of the battle lines being drawn up by anti-gas lobbyists determined to kill off the gas networks, in favour of all-electric solutions. I suggested they were wrong, on environmental and economic grounds. This week I want to share with you some good news.
Firstly, despite all that is happening in Westminster, the Government committed itself to hydrogen blending from 2023, with the value for money case being assessed this autumn. Let’s not underestimate just how important this commitment is. To reverse a key piece of energy policy like this is not easy. So unless the VfM case is appalling (and I can’t see how that would have escaped notice) or the HSE raised major objections (and they haven’t yet with HyDeploy), then I expect the go ahead will be given. Just to reinforce the point, the Government have been legally challenged that their Net Zero plans aren’t ambitious enough. If they were to row back on hydrogen blending, it makes their case even worse. Not a sensible strategy. So, yes, blending will be given the go ahead.
But what of the public, what do they think? We know from the work undertaken around HyDeploy, that those who were directly involved in the scheme were incredibly supportive. To reduce carbon at home by doing nothing, is a great idea they thought.
We wanted to see what the public thought from those further afield. So we commissioned YouGov to do some polling for us. We asked 1600 people, across 18 “Red Wall” constituencies in the north of England what they thought of blending natural gas with a low carbon gas such as hydrogen. Of those that expressed an opinion, 85 per cent supported the idea. Now there were plenty of ‘Don’t Knows’, not surprising as it is something many won’t have heard of, but that level of response isn’t at the margin, it’s overwhelming.
With the current focus on energy bills, doing something towards Net Zero that doesn’t require any change in the home, is a political win. And let’s cut to the chase, what spooks the all-electric fundamentalists, once blending starts across the UK do we really believe the Government will then say no to 100 per cent hydrogen networks?
Mike Foster, CEO
EUA's Chief Executive
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