Have anti-gas fundamentalists lost the plot?
7th Dec 2020
Last week we had two positive announcements from Ofgem in the form of the Network Innovation Competition successful bids examining the role of hydrogen. The HyNTS FutureGrid proposal tests hydrogen flows on a range of decommissioned NTS assets and the H100 Fife project will supply 300 homes with 100 per cent hydrogen.
For just over £27 million it represents great value for money for the UK consumer, testing and piloting the potential of hydrogen. Will it be the fuel we think it is? Well evidence-based research, of the form these projects will deliver, are exactly what policymakers need ahead of making some big decisions in the coming years.
You would have thought those with a genuine interest in decarbonising the UK’s gas network would welcome these announcements. For those, like us at EUA, who believe low carbon gas is the future, then these projects offer the chance to prove it. But for those with the opposite view, the outdated all-electric fundamentalists, then they should also welcome the news. Because if the projects are unsuccessful; if hydrogen does not prove to be silver-bullet for on-grid domestic decarbonisation, then there will be evidence to make their case.
So I was surprised to see the sniping, aimed at Ofgem, for granting funds for these projects. What motivates people to oppose trials and projects that test out innovation?
The only conclusion that can be arrived at, is the sheer animosity to all things gas – even if it is low carbon gas. So if decarbonisation is not the motivating factor, what is?
I remain suspicious that long-held opinions have been challenged by the emergence of hydrogen and rather than accept the possibility of a hydrogen future, a degree of face-saving is in play by some. Whilst disappointing, it should act as motivation for us to keep moving forward with the important work of decarbonising heat. If saving face is more important than saving the planet, then some people have clearly lost the plot.
Mike Foster, CEO