This week saw the Hydrogen Taskforce mark its parliamentary launch with the publication of a report named The Role of Hydrogen in Delivering Net Zero. This week also saw the publication of a report from the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) on Biomethane: The Pathway to 2030. Both of these publications have a uniting theme, they call for immediate policy support for the application of low carbon gases across the harder to decarbonise sectors.
The Hydrogen Taskforce, a cross-industry coalition of leading organisations in the hydrogen space, outlined a series of policy recommendations for industry and government to work towards over the next five years:
- Development of a cross-departmental Hydrogen Strategy within UK Government.
- Commitment by Government of £1bn over the next Spending Review Period for hydrogen production, storage and distribution projects.
- Development of financial support for the production of hydrogen for blending into the gas grid, industrial use, power generation and transport.
- Collaboration to establish 100 hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) by 2025 to support the roll-out of hydrogen transport.
- Amendment of Gas Safety Management Regulations (GSMR) to enable hydrogen blending into the UK gas grid and take the next steps towards 100% hydrogen heating through supporting public trials and mandating hydrogen-ready boilers by 2025.
ADBA’s Biomethane report urges Government to establish policies that leverage the full potential of Anaerobic Digestion (AD), which it claims could deliver 30% of the savings needed to meet the 5th carbon budget for 2030 and create over 30,000 green jobs in the process. The report calls for a green gas obligation on the gas grid, with gradually increasing targets and a minimum price to provide a level of certainty to investors.
To achieve these aims there are many policy challenges and regulatory barriers to overcome - one of which is the Gas Quality specification set out within the GSMR. Some low carbon gases are already being injected into the gas network alongside natural gas, but to realise the full potential of low carbon gases such as biomethane and hydrogen, the Gas Quality specification within the GSMR must be amended. IGEM’s Gas Quality Working Group, a collaboration across the whole gas supply chain, is developing a new IGEM Standard specifying the quality of gas allowed into the network and making changes to the Wobbe Index, oxygen content, Hydrogen, the introduction of Relative Density with the removal of Incomplete Combustion Faction and Sooting Index. This is an important precursor to requesting a change in the Gas Quality regulations, and if accepted, will enable a greater proportion of low carbon gases to be introduced into the network. IGEM is about to launch an industry wide consultation for the new standard which is a key step on the pathway to Net Zero emissions.
IGEM welcomes the Hydrogen Taskforce’s call on the Government to prioritise the work of HyDeploy, to establish the technical and safety case for hydrogen and to amend the GSMR, enabling hydrogen blending to commence before the end of 2022. There are numerous hydrogen projects underway across the UK and we will continue to support them through development of hydrogen Technical Standards and IGEM’s hydrogen committee. We recognise the global leadership role the UK is taking in the development of hydrogen for heating, and we are proud to support the gas industry in providing a solution to the heat decarbonisation challenge.
If you would like to find out more about our Gas Quality and Hydrogen work please contact us.