H21 Leeds City Gate

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Executive Summary (via Internet Archive)

Full Report (via Internet Archive)

Watch our H21 Leeds City Gate film Northern Gas Networks; 12 Jul 2016

Ambitious plans to convert significant parts of the UK gas grid to be 100% hydrogen were launched by a project team led by Northern Gas Networks at an event in Westminster on 11 July 2016.
More than 200 MPs, government representatives, sustainable energy experts and academics from across the UK attended the launch of the H21 Leeds City Gate report, which calls for the gas grid to be converted to hydrogen, starting with the Leeds city region and then for conversion to take place across the country incrementally.
The report finds that converting the UK gas grid to hydrogen will be a major step towards meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets. Currently, over 30% of all UK carbon emissions come from domestic heating and cooking. A UK-wide conversion to hydrogen gas will reduce heat emissions by a minimum of 73% as well as supporting decarbonisation of transport and localised electrical generation.

H21 North of England – national launch

The H21 North of England is a detailed engineering solution for converting 3.7 million UK homes and businesses from natural gas to hydrogen, in order to reduce carbon emissions.
Created by gas distributers Northern Gas Networks and Cadent, in partnership with global energy company Equinor, this hydrogen blueprint sets out how the UK is ready to lead the way in reducing CO2 emissions through the world’s largest clean energy project.
The UK has committed to reducing its carbon emissions to at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. Currently, over 30% of emissions come from domestic heating and cooking.
H21 North of England finds that converting the UK gas grid to hydrogen has the ability to provide “deep decarbonisation” of heat, as well as transport and power generation, with minimal disruption to customers.
This has the combined potential to reduce carbon emissions by over 258 million tonnes a year by 2050, equating to over 80% of the UK’s remaining reduction target.
H21 North of England report proposes conversion will begin in 2028, with expansion across 3.7 million properties in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, York, Huddersfield, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Teesside and Newcastle over the following seven years.
A six-phase further UK rollout could see 12 million more homes across the rest of the country converted to hydrogen by 2050.

Full Report

Key Messages summary

100% hydrogen gas grid feasible says NGN Jane Gray; Network; 11 Jul 2016

Gas distribution company Northern Gas Networks has published the findings of its H21 project which suggest a conversion of the existing gas grid to carry 100% hydrogen is feasible and desirable. The Leeds City Gate report shows that a conversion of Leeds’ gas grid would be technically feasible, cost effective and could make a significant contribution to meeting the UK’s decarbonisation targets. NGN says that the benefits of conversion could be extended UK-wide. According to the report, 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions arise from domestic heating and cooking, the vast majority of which are fuelled from the gas grid. By converting the gas grid to carry 100% hydrogen UK-wide, NGN says heat emissions would be reduced by at least 73% and that additional carbon savings would be realised in transport and localised energy generation too. NGN says that converting the gas grid to carry hydrogen would cause minimal disruption to consumers – by installing isolation valves in the conversion area, the transition could be achieved with minor impact on supply. The implications of conversion for the gas grid itself are very minor according to NGN head of energy futures Dan Sadler. Some reinforcement work would be required, he told Network, but this would not exceed the usual investment made by gas distributors in reinforcement annually. Sadler added that “the biggest challenge is not a technical one, it is putting a UK hydrogen conversion and carbon capture policy in place to drive the market and provide the appliance manufacturing industry with confidence to produce hydrogen compatible appliances.” NGN’s proposal for conversion of the gas grid is based on a study conducted in partnership with Leeds City Council. It includes use of Steam Methane Reformers coupled with 90% carbon capture and storage as well as the use of local salt caverns for interday and interseasonal storage. NGN proposes that a conversion of the gas grid in Leeds should begin in 2026-29 following completion of iron gas mains replacement in the region.

Hydrogen gas grid for Leeds moves a step closer Tom Grimwood; Network; 28 April 2017

Plans to convert the gas grid in Leeds to run entirely on hydrogen have moved a step closer to becoming reality after Northern Gas Networks opened an office in the city dedicated to the endeavor. The office has been tasked with delivering innovative projects which prove the case for conversion to hydrogen, not just for Leeds but for the whole of the UK. Northern Gas Networks (NGN) opened the site with the help of Leeds City Council to further examine, and build the foundations to deliver, the conversion strategy outlined in its H21 Leeds City Gate study. The research project, which was funded through the Network Innovation Allowance and conducted alongside Wales and West Utilities, concluded last year that substituting natural gas with hydrogen in UK networks would be "technically possible and economically viable". The conversion strategy for the Leeds City area included proposals to supply the local grid with low-carbon hydrogen produced at four steam methane reformers on Teesside utilising carbon capture and storage.