Capital Hydrogen, a partnership between Cadent, SGN and National Grid Gas Transmission, plans to deliver a transition to hydrogen for gas networks in the East of England, South East and London through a series of projects over the next 15-20 years.

Its hydrogen vision for the capital city and region will be set out at a House of Commons launch event on Wednesday morning (October 19), where the potential benefits and opportunities will be highlighted. These include reducing emissions, generating jobs and skills, boosting future energy independence and offering greater comfort for London’s citizens.

Earlier this year, the infrastructure companies launched a feasibility study for the transition of London’s gas network to hydrogen.

The research has now been completed and identified that by 2050, London will need at least 40TWh of hydrogen to decarbonise heating, transport and power generation.

The report identifies a potential 100-170TWh of hydrogen production at coastal locations across the east of England and the south east, and shows how the gas networks can be re-purposed to transport the hydrogen to where it is needed.

It also includes concepts for the first supply of hydrogen via two potential routes for new build 100% hydrogen pipelines in the east of London on the north and south bank of the Thames, and sources of hydrogen supply that can feed into these pipelines.

These pipelines could deliver low carbon hydrogen directly to some of the largest energy users in London and the Thames Estuary by the early 2030s. Intensive engagement with these potential hydrogen users has resulted in overwhelming support for the proposed pipelines and a forecast of proposed hydrogen usage.

The transition to low carbon hydrogen will contribute to the Mayor’s commitment for London to be net zero carbon by 2030, as well as the wider UK government commitment for net zero by 2050.

Sally Brewis, Head of Regional Development at Cadent, said: “We’ve demonstrated the pathway to meeting London’s 2030 and 2050 hydrogen needs, using hydrogen produced in the wider region. And we’ve also identified a near-term opportunity to meet the decarbonisation needs of scores of East London’s industrial, transport and heat network operators using hydrogen delivered through our proposed new pipelines.”

SGN Project Manager Graham Cox said, “Our roadmap aims to help meet London’s ambitious climate targets by accelerating hydrogen deployment in the capital.”

National Grid Gas Transmission CEO Jon Butterworth said Hydrogen is essential in the journey to net zero emissions.

He said, “Our Project Union complements Capital Hydrogen by repurposing key sections of Britain’s gas network – with some new build – to deliver a UK hydrogen backbone by the early 2030s. In Capital Hydrogen, we would provide resilience by connecting south east and UK-wide hydrogen production and storage to customers and to distribution networks across the region, stimulating the market and the investment needed in hydrogen production.”

Meanwhile the North West’s first hydrogen demonstration facility open to the public is now welcoming local residents of Ellesmere Port.

It is hoped that around 2,000 homes in the Whitby area of the town will be the UK’s first ‘Hydrogen Village’, using 100% hydrogen for heating, cooking and hot water, instead of natural gas, from 2025.