Trade Body Backs Greater Hydrogen Heat Support in Queen’s Speech Response

By May 11, 2022 3   min read  (591 words)

May 11, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, Trade Body Backs Greater Hydrogen Heat Support in Queen’s Speech Response

The EUA says plans to publish new UK legislation focused around energy efficiency and sustainability should ensure sufficient support for hydrogen production for heating

Government commitments to introduce a new Energy Bill to provide cheaper and cleaner power for homes should ensure improved support for hydrogen heating, an energy trade body argues.

The Energy and Utilities Alliance, which advocates for ensuring a more direct lower carbon replacement for natural gas in homes, has called on the government to move to larger scale trials of hydrogen heat.

The comments were made in response to this year’s Queen’s Speech, which set out the major priorities for the government over the next year.

Among the commitments in the speech, which was delivered by Prince Charles in place of the queen, were plans for a new Energy Bill to support a “transition to cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy.”

This is expected to see draft legislation published to protect households and businesses from surging energy bills that are expected to increase further over the course of 2022 owing to supply issues and high gas prices.

Mike Foster, chief executive of the EUA, argued that the bill must support use of Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) and ramp up ongoing trials of hydrogen heat.

he said, “The latter will involve no additional upfront costs to the consumer and minimal levels of disruption and creates a secure energy supply free from the blood-stained hands of President Putin.”

These commitments would need to be implemented alongside the government’s previously stated commitments to drastically increase the introduction of heat pumps and lower carbon heat networks at a national scale.

A Hydrogen Strategy published last year said the government would decide by 2026 whether there was a sufficient cost and environmental case for considering using hydrogen alongside heat pumps and district heat in homes as a replacement for natural gas that is currently used in most properties.

This decision is expected to be based on a series of trials focused on creating the infrastructure for supporting hydrogen use. The gas has zero carbon emissions at the point of use, yet is presently dependent on fossil fuels to ensure production at a mass scale.

Mr Mason said that the EUA now hoped a future energy plan will give details on practical actions for how the gas might be produced at sufficient scale domestically to be provided to homes for heat and power.

He said, “We need to urgently shift away from fossil fuel gas to hydrogen, using the world-class gas networks already underground to supply our homes and businesses. Now is not the time to consider re-wiring Britain; ripping out boilers to be replaced with £10 grand a time heat pumps would be a folly when clean gas is just around the corner.”

Energy UK response

The Energy UK trade association said it welcomed commitments in the speech to publish draft legislation that it hoped would help curb an overall reliance on fossil fuels.

The organisation said it backed expanding efforts to boost domestic production and clean energy and also hoped to see support for the development of CCUS technologies and hydrogen on the production side. These should also be backed by a focus on increasing domestic uptake of heat pumps, Energy UK added.

Ahead of this week’s Queen’s Speech, Energy UK said it had hoped to see a commitment from the government for strengthening regulations to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings, while providing smart meters and low carbon heating systems.



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