On Monday 30th November SGN received the go-ahead to build a world-first hydrogen heating network at Methil in Scotland. The SGN plans for H100 Fife, a pioneering project that will demonstrate 100% green hydrogen heating in homes for the first time, have been approved by Ofgem. This game-changing project will provide the crucial evidence to inform widespread deployment of 100% for domestic heating.
Replacing natural gas with hydrogen and other low-carbon alternatives will be key if the UK and Scottish Governments are to meet legally binding net zero emissions targets. H100 Fife is a critical first step as the UK aims to develop 5GW of hydrogen production capacity and a first “Hydrogen Town” by 2030. The energy regulator will award up to £18 million from its annual Network Innovation Competition to support development of the new hydrogen network, triggering a further investment of £6.9m from the Scottish Government. SGN shareholders and Britain’s three other gas distribution networks are also providing funding for the project.
Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The Scottish Government provided £6.9m of funding towards SGN’s H100 Fife project and I am pleased that the project has now been awarded the additional funding of up to £18m it needs through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition. This world-leading project can now move forward to deliver a first-of-a-kind 100% hydrogen heat network, supplying around 300 domestic properties with clean, green hydrogen heating. I see this project is a critical step towards understanding our decarbonisation options for heat and will deliver a purpose built end-to-end hydrogen system, so I warmly welcome Ofgem’s investment in the project.”
Customers in Fife will be given the chance to participate in the world-first demonstration. Any customer that opts-in to the project will receive a free hydrogen connection, free replacement hydrogen appliances and free maintenance over the length of the project. They will pay the same amount for hydrogen gas as they would pay for natural gas.
Work will now begin on delivering a 100% hydrogen demonstration network in Levenmouth, Fife, that will bring carbon-free heating and cooking to around 300 homes from the end of 2022. The clean gas will be produced locally, by a dedicated electrolysis plant powered by a nearby offshore wind turbine. The project will be the first of its kind to use a direct clean power supply to produce hydrogen for domestic heating, putting the Fife town at the forefront of the green energy revolution.
The H100 project will provide compelling evidence of hydrogen’s performance in a real-world domestic setting as a zero-carbon energy source, as the Scottish and UK Governments look to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 and 2050 respectively.
Angus McIntosh, the SGN Director of Energy Futures said: “We’re delighted that stakeholders have recognised the critical importance of H100 Fife, H100 Fife is the UK’s priority project in this area and is designed to demonstrate hydrogen distribution and in-home performance in a real-world setting. It’s an exciting opportunity to revolutionise the way millions of people heat their homes. The hydrogen appliances will connect to the existing pipes in the home for zero carbon heating and cooking with minimal disruption and with no need to replace existing radiators or plumbing.”
Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s Chief Executive, added: ”The high level of ambition shown by bidders in this year’s Network Innovation Competition is hugely encouraging and shows the energy industry getting behind the challenge of net zero. The winning projects were those which showed the most potential to make the game-changing leaps in technology we need to build a greener, fairer energy system at the lowest cost to consumers. Ofgem will continue to back the best of innovation, which will help drive the green recovery and enable consumers to reap the benefits up to 2050 and beyond.”
H100 Fife is a critical first step as the UK aims to develop 5GW of hydrogen production capacity and a first “Hydrogen Town” by 2030. The project was singled out by the Prime Minister during the launch of the UK Government's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, in addition to receiving support from Ofgem and the Scottish Government.
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