Fife homes could be heated by world’s first 100% green hydrogen network
A world-first programme using green hydrogen to heat homes could be built in Fife if proposals are approved by energy regulator Ofgem.
Gas distributor SGN said its H100 Fife project in Levenmouth will produce hydrogen via an electrolysis plant powered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s nearby offshore wind turbine.
The proposed hydrogen production and storage system and heating network will run alongside the current natural gas system, demonstrating every aspect of an end-to-end hydrogen-to-homes system to support plans for large scale roll-out in the future.
SGN said the project is intended to provide critical evidence for a potential zero carbon energy source, helping to inform the UK’s long-term policy decisions for decarbonisation.
H100 Fife has passed the initial screening submission process for Ofgem’s annual Network Innovation Competition, and a full bid for funding will be submitted this summer. If successful, we’ll build a new, 100% zero-carbon hydrogen network
Angus McIntosh, director of energy futures at SGN, said: “Hydrogen is an exciting energy vector that at scale could provide similar levels of safe, secure, reliable and affordable energy to what we enjoy now, with minimal disruption for customers.
“The project will provide key national evidence for hydrogen’s role in the UK’s energy transition and critical insight into the customer value proposition of hydrogen for heat.”
The system will be designed and built to ensure at least the same safety and reliability standards expected from the current gas system. An on-site storage unit will hold enough hydrogen to ensure supply won’t be disrupted during even the coldest weather conditions.
H100 Fife is part of the national Gas Goes Green initiative, a collaborative series of projects to prove the viability of hydrogen for heat. They share an objective to demonstrate how the UK’s world class gas network, comprising of over 280,000 km of pipes connected to 23 million homes and businesses, can provide a clear and cost-effective pathway to decarbonise heat through hydrogen at low cost, at pace and at scale.
SGN said that decarbonisation of the gas networks is necessary in order to achieve the Scottish Government and UK Government carbon net-zero targets by 2045 and 2050 respectively. The industry seeks to evidence that among the alternatives for decarbonising heat, hydrogen offers an attractive, low disruption and lower cost solution for customers.
The project aims to provide critical insight into hydrogen demand and supply management, security of supply and ‘real world’ asset operation. As well as testing technical and engineering capabilities, the project will provide us with valuable insights into customer appetite and interest for hydrogen. Customers can participate on an opt-in basis, meaning they will have the choice to switch to hydrogen, or remain with their existing natural gas supply. A demonstration facility within the project is proposed to allow customers to interact with hydrogen appliances in a home-like setting prior to opting-in.