IGEM supports gas networks in £900m funding bid for zero-carbon energy infrastructure

28/05/2020 16:03

IGEM supports gas networks in £900m funding bid for zero-carbon energy infrastructure

The Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM) has welcomed a bid by Britain's five gas networks to secure more than £900m for zero-carbon energy infrastructure and hydrogen deployment across the UK.

Cadent, National Grid, NGN, SGN, and Wales & West Utilities have today launched a Zero Carbon Commitment package, calling for £904m in investment to spur the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis while helping the UK reach its net-zero target.

This follows the April launch of the Energy Networks Association’s ambitious Gas Goes Green programme to create the world’s first net zero gas network, which IGEM is supporting.

The Zero Carbon Commitment package includes plans to invest:

  • £446 million in new network infrastructure for projects that roll out the industrial use of hydrogen, as well as domestic trials. This includes £391 million of investment in engineering and design work for carbon, capture, utilisation and storage projects in the north-west of England, Aberdeenshire and the Isle of Grain.
  • £264 million in ‘cross-cutting’ projects that will expand the capacity of local gas networks to connect more hydrogen and biomethane generation projects, transport refuelling stations, and ensure network operators have the right systems in place to manage the gas used by those connections.
  • £150 million for running new, large scale trials of domestic appliances providing hydrogen heating, cooking and transportation appliances connected to the gas grid, starting in controlled environments, before moving on to unoccupied and finally occupied premises.
  • £44 million in projects to understand how to blend an increasing amount of zero carbon hydrogen with the natural gas currently used in our gas networks, to gradually replace it.

The eventual conversion of the UK’s gas networks to green sources will be critical to the country’s climate change efforts, as gas provides four fifths of total energy demand at peak times.

IGEM, the professional engineering institution for the gas industry, has welcomed the plans. CEO Neil Atkinson said: “Decarbonising heat remains one of the greatest challenges facing the UK as the nation attempts to transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

“Gas remains the predominant source of heating for more than 23 million customers across the UK and delivers 720TWh of energy annually. While technologies like electric heat pumps and biomass boilers possess great potential to contribute, the only realistic way to achieve our climate change goals is to convert our existing gas infrastructure to transport low and zero carbon gases.

“To do this will require a radical shift in energy policy and investment not just in green technologies, but in the future success of our country. However, just as the UK has in the past met gargantuan challenges requiring immense political will and commitment, we believe the British people and its government are ready to answer the call.”

Editor’s notes

For more information, email IGEM Marketing Manager Sharon Baker-Hallam at sharon@igem.org.uk or call +44 (0)1509 678186.

The Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM) is the professional engineering institution supporting individuals and businesses working in the global gas industry. Our core role is to encourage the highest standards of professional competence amongst individuals working in the industry. We help individuals stay up to date by delivering technical training. We support industry through the development of technical standards that are recognised around the world. We share knowledge and expertise amongst our members and the wider gas industry. We work across sectors to demonstrate the innovation taking place in the industry through networking events and conferences.

We are licensed by the Engineering Council to award the professional titles Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer and Engineering Technician and support individuals to become professionally registered engineers. Working with stakeholders from across the sector we seek to demonstrate how the gas industry will help to decarbonise the energy sector and represent the views of our members to inform and influence future energy policy.

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