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Are we headed for hydrogen?

Published: 6 June 2024

Energy – where we get it, how much it costs, and its impact on our planet – is as much of a talking point these days as the Great British Weather.

The costs of energy

As the cost of living soars, so too have energy prices. Everyone has an eye on their bills. But bills aren’t the only concern. Changes in our climate are gathering pace – even on this chilly little island. The question on all our minds is whether it’s possible to keep our families warm and fed on a budget, yet still make greener energy choices?

The problem

Natural gas dominates domestic energy demand, supplying 66% of total domestic energy needs to over 22 million UK homes in 2021. A change to this large footprint would have immediate impact. There is a huge incentive to find a cleaner alternative to natural gas that can be stored in volumes able to meet consumer swings in demand.

The case for hydrogen

All major research points to hydrogen having a critical role in getting the UK closer to Net Zero 2050.

While natural gas produces carbon dioxide when burnt, hydrogen – crucially – does not. Alongside carbon capture and the development of hydrogen-ready domestic appliances, hydrogen could also be used in the UK’s existing gas network, making it a relatively cost-effective choice, too. Conversion could not only respond to legislative commitments but ensure that the public and industry can still benefit from continuity of gas supply.

What’s happening now?

Several major hydrogen projects have been under way across the UK for some time. Gas networks are collaborating on the build, operation, and testing of new hydrogen and repurposed networks under the ‘Gas Goes Green’ programme.

  • More information on the Gas Goes Green programme is available here.
  • More information on the UK Government hydrogen strategy is available here.

How Adler & Allan is involved

Delivering bold initiatives like these exerts a huge demand on companies and their people at every stage. Having skilled service providers on-side is critical to success. Group company QEM Solutions, has been supporting several of the gas networks as they collaborate on these ambitious programmes. QEM’s services are particularly valued during the complex initiation stages and the ‘heavy-lifting’ that goes into project start-ups of this scale.

The task of transforming the UK’s natural gas network to hydrogen has many challenges ahead – not least that 2050 and visible climate change both loom large. But a clean energy future and a healthier planet are goals well worth striving for: we’re proud to set our sights on them.

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