Hydrogen committee

What is the Hydrogen committee?

The Hydrogen committee is a group of experts brought together to consider all technical and safety matters relating to Hydrogen, including the environmental impact of the construction and use of Hydrogen installations, transmission, distribution, measurement and utilisation.

Who's involved?

The individuals involved in the Hydrogen Committee represent: the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), BEIS, National Grid Gas Transmission, the Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) CadentSGNNorthern Gas Networks and Wales & West Utilities, the Industrial and Commercial Energy Association (ICOM), BSI, HHIC, ITM Power, Energy and Utility Skills Group, GERG, BP, Shell, the Energy Instituteand BOC. In addition, the working group has input from a number of specialist consultants including ArupDNV GL, Global Energy Associates, Progressive Energy, Green Flame and Kiwa.

What are the committee’s objectives and priorities?

  • Discuss areas of common interest regarding health and safety, share safety alerts across the Hydrogen industry and develop best practice guidelines for Hydrogen operations.
  • Provide suitable references for public domain Hydrogen statistics.
  • Provide guidance and support to member companies regarding Safety Cases, COMAH, HAZOP surveys and planning enquiries.
  • Provide expert input to the Hydrogen quality and regulatory debate.
  • To agree technical work plans for the preparation or review of Technical Standards or Guidance
  • To set up and monitor the work of Technical Panels
  • To prepare and when necessary revise Hydrogen Series Standards
  • To review current European and British legislation and Standards, as well as International Standards, relating to Hydrogen. In addition to provide input through proper channels on draft legislation and Standards
  • To monitor important Hydrogen related developments worldwide.
  • To maintain an effective liaison with regulating authorities for example the HSE and other bodies concerned with the Hydrogen industry.
  • To promote knowledge and understanding throughout the gas industry by providing technical updates, from the publication of new or revised Technical Standards or Guidance and provide training as required by industry. This may be through the Technical Panels, Working Groups, industry experts and training companies.

The Hydrogen Committee meets a minimum of three times per year, with additional meetings subject to demand.

Why hydrogen?

The current gas network distributes methane, also known as natural gas, to homes, businesses and industrial users across the UK. However, over the last few years serious consideration has been given to the repurposing of the gas network from methane to hydrogen.

Exploration of this idea has gained significant momentum since the UK Government’s decision in 2019 to legislate for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This is because hydrogen offers a low carbon solution to the heating emissions challenge. Hydrogen produced using electrolysis, also known as ‘Green Hydrogen’, produces pure hydrogen with no harmful by-products. However other hydrogen production methods do produce carbon emissions and as such would need to be combined with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) solutions. Crucially, unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen does not produce carbon emissions at the point of use, when it is burned. 

Gas network companies have established a range of hydrogen exploratory and demonstration projects across the UK, looking at blending hydrogen into the existing gas grid, creating new and repurposing existing networks for 100% Hydrogen and the deployment of hydrogen alongside CCUS capability. More information on these projects can be found on the Energy Networks Association’s Gas Goes Green site.

How is IGEM supporting a Hydrogen future?

As well as being the secretariat for the Hydrogen Committee, IGEM is also supporting the development of Hydrogen Technical Standards as part of the Hy4Heat project, funded by the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Hydrogen Standards, once published, will support the current hydrogen gas network projects being delivered across the UK as well as underpin future hydrogen projects.

Through our Gas Quality Working Group, we are bringing industry together to provide the evidence base and analysis for changing regulations, in order to update the specification of gas that can be injected into the gas network and enable more low carbon gases, such as hydrogen to be used in the grid.

We are providing a new Training Specification to our Skills partners so that a competency based training programme can be deployed to Training provider organisations within an industry approved structure. This will support the supply of apprentices, gas technologists and operatives who are familiarised and competent to handle hydrogen and to safely install equipment such as hydrogen ready appliances.

We also deliver high quality, accredited hydrogen courses for engineers and managers wishing to understand the fundamentals of hydrogen.

Please email hydrogen@igem.org.uk if you would like more information about IGEM’s work on hydrogen. 

If you would like to find out more about hydrogen technologies, applications and policy developments please explore our Hydrogen Knowledge Centre, where you will find a vast range of papers, reports and other resources on hydrogen.

UK hydrogen projects summary:

HyDeploy

A project to demonstrate if hydrogen can be safely blended into the natural gas distribution system at concentrations of up to 20% hydrogen by volume, without requiring changes to the network components or downstream appliances. The first phase of the project, a live demonstration based at Keele University has been successfully delivered. The second phase, Hydeploy North East is a pilot in the community of Winlaton, with the area becoming the first public network to receive a 20% hydrogen blend. The project is being delivered by the Hydeploy consortium, led by Cadent.

HyNet

Based in the North West of England, HyNet is a project led by Cadent and Progressive Energy, based on the production of hydrogen from natural gas. It includes the development of a new hydrogen pipeline; and the creation of the UK’s first CCUS infrastructure.

Hy4Heat

Project led by Arup, to establish if it is technically possible, safe and convenient to replace natural gas (methane) with hydrogen in residential and commercial buildings and gas appliances. This will enable government to determine whether to proceed to community trial.

H21

Led by Northern Gas Networks, H21 is a suite of gas industry projects, designed to support conversion of the UK gas networks to carry 100% hydrogen.H21 has already proved conversion of the existing gas grid to carry 100% hydrogen is technically possible and economically viable, through the 2016 H21 Leeds City Gate report.

H100

Led by SGN, the H100 project is looking to construct and demonstrate the UK’s first network to carry 100% hydrogen. The project is built-up of a series of smaller projects that focus on each key aspect of hydrogen research.

SGN Methilltoune

SGN’s Methilltoune project will deliver a first-of-its-kind hydrogen production demonstrator in Levenmouth, Fife. This includes a scalable distribution network with storage to supply hydrogen for domestic properties for heating and cooking.

Dolphyn ERM Project

Led by ERM, the Deepwater Offshore Local Production of Hydrogen (Dolphyn) project will consider large-scale retrofit hydrogen production from offshore floating wind turbines in deep water locations.

Project Cavendish

A collaboration between National Grid Gas Transmission, SGN and Cadent, Project Cavendish is exploring ways to produce, store or import hydrogen at the Isle of Grain in Kent, to get hydrogen to the South of London.

Aberdeen Vision

Aberdeen Vision aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of injecting 2% hydrogen into the National Transmissions System (NTS). The project also aims to provide a case for constructing a new 100% hydrogen pipeline between St Fergus and Aberdeen that would initially supply the network with a hydrogen blend of up to 20%, increasing to 100% following a complete network conversion to hydrogen.

Net Zero South Wales

The Net Zero South Wales 2050 innovation project has been undertaken as a partnership between Regen, Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Wales and West Utilities. The main objective of the project was to develop a new methodology for conducting cross-vector scenario forecasting at a regional level, merging two pre-existing studies for gas and electricity, and to provide insights into how South Wales might transition to a net zero future under three net zero scenario pathways: High Electrification, Core Hydrogen and High Hydrogen along with a hybrid heat sensitivity.

Future Grid

The importance of the National Transmission System (NTS) to the UK’s current energy supply means we need to consider how to deliver low carbon energy, reliably and safely to all consumers. The facility will be built from a range of decommissioned transmission assets, to create a representative whole-network which will be used to trial hydrogen and will allow for accurate results to be analysed. Blends of hydrogen up to 100% will then be tested at transmission pressures, to assess how the assets perform.

The hydrogen research facility will remain separate from the main National Transmission System, allowing for testing to be undertaken in a controlled environment, with no risk to the safety and reliability of the existing gas transmission network.