UK government dumps another planned hydrogen heating project

UK government dumps another planned hydrogen heating project

May 14, 2024 1 By Tami Hood

This is the third time the UK government has changed its mind on a H2 project of this kind

The number of hydrogen heating pilot projects moving ahead in the UK has dropped by one, yet again, as the UK government places another on indefinite hold.

This indicates that UK homes will use electricity for their future low carbon heat

According to the government, its intentions to move forward with a test “hydrogen town” development to examine how hydrogen heating will not proceed.  The plan was to look into how this type of fuel would work at scale, but it has been cut short before the official decision was slated to be made in 2026.

The choice was made following the abandonment of two other similarly shaped, yet smaller “hydrogen village” tests were scrapped. Those were to have taken place on Teesside in Redcar, and in a village close to Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.  The projects had been facing substantial opposition from the residents of the towns. Those residents were afraid of becoming forced “lab rats” for a tech that wouldn’t end up ever taking off in the United Kingdom.

Not giving up on hydrogen heating

The UK government released a statement in which it underscored that it had not given up on H2.  Moreover, it stated that low-carbon hydrogen “may have a role to play” in the UK’s decarbonization of its heating sector, along with other low-carbon heat networks and heat pumps. That said, it added that it would be “in slower time in some locations.”

Hydrogen heating - UK Government

“We plan to take a decision in 2026 on whether, and if so how, hydrogen will contribute to heating decarbonisation,” said the government statement.

The UK intends to finalize its decision regarding the way in which it will be moving ahead in its net zero climate plans by 2026. This will include whether natural gas will be partially or entirely replaced as a home heating fuel.  It intends to use evidence from sources such as Scotland’s pilot project in Fife and other similar European projects in order to make its decision.

Are alternatives better than H2?

hydrogen news ebookA number of energy experts and the infrastructure heads in the UK government believe that there should be a greater focus on heat pumps and other electric options, while leaving hydrogen heating and other uses for H2 to heavy industry, which cannot function as well on electricity.

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