Hydrogen fuel could dramatically cut UK carbon emissions, according to innovative trials at Keele University

Burning hydrogen to produce energy produces only water as a biproduct and no greenhouse gases. HyDeploy is a pioneering project that blends up to 20% hydrogen with natural gas to produce a safe and efficient low carbon alternative to current gas supplies, which Keele University estimates could pave the way to saving six million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions across the country every year.

The university project is supported through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition and is being led by gas distributers Cadent, in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Science Division, ITM-Power and Progressive Energy.

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at Keele University and senior lead for sustainability, said: “Energy and sustainability is a key overarching institutional priority for Keele University, and we are delighted to be a partner in this important, highly relevant and prestigious research project. HyDeploy is tackling one of the major societal challenges and has the potential to be hugely impactful and lead to a very significant reduction in carbon emissions globally.”

This is the first scheme in the UK to inject hydrogen into a natural gas network. The first stage of the programme involves trials on Keele University’s campus, where hydrogen is blended with the normal gas supply across parts of university campus’ private gas network, serving 17 faculty buildings and 100 domestic properties.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) argues that using hydrogen in the energy mix can help meet challenging demands for heating buildings and industrial processes, as well as for heavy transport, and could be an important part of the next stage of the UK’s energy transition

If the scheme at Keele is successful, HyDeploy will move to a larger test on a public network in the North East, followed by another test in the North West in the early 2020s. This is to ensure that the hydrogen blend is tested across a variety of networks and customer bases, making the results more representative of the UK as a whole.

Last reviewed 7 January 2020