New Hydrogen Hub opens in Redcar
The North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has opened a Hydrogen Hub on Redcar High Street to give customers the opportunity to learn more about its proposal for some areas of the town to use locally-produced hydrogen for heating, instead of natural gas.
The Redcar Hydrogen Community proposal is currently being developed by NGN and the Hydrogen Hub will serve as an information point for Redcar customers to learn more about hydrogen and the role it can play in tackling climate change, and what the investment would mean for Redcar residents and business owners.
To progress its plans, Northern Gas Networks is currently liaising with hydrogen producers and developing its strategy for the production, storage and delivery of the hydrogen that would be used to heat the homes.
In addition, homes and businesses in the area have been offered a free Gas Safe survey, which includes a gas safety certificate to build a picture of the gas appliances in the area today and business owners, residents and landlords have the opportunity to complete a research questionnaire to share their views on the proposal.
A decision about whether NGN’s project progresses will be made by the Government in 2023. If approved, the gas supply would switch from natural gas to hydrogen for around 2,000 homes and businesses in parts of Redcar including the town centre, Warrenby, Coatham and an area of Kirkleatham from 2025. The plans involve producing hydrogen in Teesside, creating jobs and enabling Redcar to be self-sufficient by generating its own energy, from renewable sources.
Commenting on the opening of the Hydrogen Hub, Mark Horsley, CEO of Northern Gas Networks said: “Since we started working in Redcar earlier this year, we’ve been encouraged by the enthusiastic response from the local community to the opportunity of the hydrogen investment. We want to ensure everyone understands the proposal and has the opportunity to meet the team, learn more and give feedback, so we’re delighted to have a presence on the High Street”
Heating homes and powering industry with gas is currently responsible for up to a quarter of the country’s carbon emissions, however unlike the natural gas used today, hydrogen doesn’t produce any carbon when burned.
Climate and Energy Minister Graham Stuart said “I am excited to see Northern Gas Networks opening their Hydrogen Demonstration Hub in Redcar, allowing the public to experience first-hand how hydrogen could work as an alternative superfuel in British homes.
“I want to make sure the public’s voice is heard as we take steps to develop the UK’s first hydrogen village and seek to understand whether hydrogen has a future role in heating.”
Redcar was selected by NGN as it lies within the East Coast industrial cluster and is in close proximity of established energy infrastructure including hydrogen production and storage facilities. The varied housing is representative of homes throughout the rest of the UK and the area also includes larger gas users including the Leisure Centre and Redcar and Cleveland College.
Redcar & Cleveland Conservative MP, Jacob Young, said: “I am delighted to be working with Northern Gas Networks on the case for Redcar to pioneer the use of hydrogen for home heating.
“It’s clear that as we decarbonise, one of the areas we need to focus on is how we heat our homes. It’s important that we look at as many different low carbon heating options as possible.
“At present, 85% of UK homes are connected to the gas network, which means there’s a huge opportunity to use existing infrastructure to decarbonise rather than focussing on expensive retrofits.
“With Teesside leading the way for new hydrogen technology following announcements on blue and green hydrogen, I know there is a lot of local enthusiasm for these innovations to happen here.
“NGN’s hub will help residents understand the benefits of switching to hydrogen and will once again highlight how this region is leading the way when it comes to these new technologies.”
The Hydrogen Hub is now open on Redcar High Street, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
Find more information about the project, including the opportunity for residents and property owners to book a free engineering survey and complete our consultation questionnaire in exchange for a shopping voucher visit redcarhydrogencommunity.co.uk