A new think tank has been launched by the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) to explore the potential use of nuclear energy, both electrical and thermal, to produce zero-carbon hydrogen.
The Nuclear Enabled Hydrogen Working Group will include academics, experts from the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), the law firm Burges Salmon and oil and gas services company Petrofac.
Celia Greaves, chief executive of the UK HFCA, said: “Hydrogen is too important a part of the UK’s journey to net zero for us to let up.
“The UK HFCA will continue to do all it can, leading co-ordination with relevant groups to ensure the government receives consistent, practical and expert advice.”
Allan Simpson, technical lead at the NNL and chair of the group, said: “We will look at evidence-based advice to widen the understanding of the role of nuclear hydrogen across the energy system, including in buildings, transport and industry, as well as specific ways to remove barriers, support net zero objectives and accelerate use.”
Last year, the NNL worked with DNV to explore the potential of nuclear energy to support the conversion of UK gas networks to hydrogen.
UK HFCA said the Nuclear Derived Hydrogen to Gas Networks collaboration is set to provide deeper evidence to support key up-coming government policy decisions on the role of hydrogen in buildings and for heating and will be fed into the work of the working group going forward.
Simpson added: “Converting national and regional natural gas networks to hydrogen could be a powerful decarbonisation solution, by distributing the hydrogen to millions of individual users across the country, where it can be converted to power and heat without releasing carbon dioxide.
“This will enable consumers to continue using gas in homes, businesses, and industry, in an effective way that is net zero compliant.
“To successfully achieve this transition large quantities of hydrogen would be needed and the ability of nuclear to drive production at gigawatt scale could be of great value.
“This project is a key step in bringing nuclear enabled hydrogen into the public domain, demonstrating that a UK hydrogen network could have a wider range of options for hydrogen supply.”
Source: Utility Week
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