Hydrogen has emerged as a promising option to help reduce household emissions and meet the Government’s 2050 net-zero target. In this article, we explore the current status of hydrogen, the difference between 20% hydrogen and hydrogen-ready boilers, and when hydrogen could be available for use in homes across the country.
The Current State of Hydrogen in the UK
Trials for hydrogen usage in heating are underway in the UK, with several projects aiming to determine the most efficient and eco-friendly methods for hydrogen production and storage. The map below illustrates some of the ongoing projects across the country:
20% Hydrogen vs. Hydrogen-Ready Boilers
There are currently two approaches to incorporating hydrogen into home heating systems: 20% hydrogen and hydrogen-ready boilers.
This method involves blending up to 20% hydrogen into the existing natural gas grid network, potentially reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 7%. If trials are successful, a 20% hydrogen blend could be rolled out from 2023. We are actively testing existing condensing boilers to ensure their compatibility with this hydrogen-natural gas mix.
Hydrogen-ready boilers are designed to operate using 100% hydrogen, with the goal of ultimately replacing natural gas. These boilers will be available on the market starting 2025 and will initially work with natural gas. Once hydrogen is available, a minor adjustment will allow the boiler to switch to hydrogen fuel. However, the first hydrogen town is expected in 2030, so some hydrogen-ready boilers installed in 2025 may reach their end-of-life before hydrogen is supplied to the home.
When Will Hydrogen Be Available for Home Heating?
While we are committed to staying at the forefront of heating technology, the widespread availability of hydrogen for UK homes is still years away. The UK government’s strategies and infrastructure upgrades are needed to facilitate hydrogen delivery to households.
According to the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the aim is to create the first hydrogen neighbourhood in 2023, the first hydrogen village in 2025, and the first hydrogen town in 2030. However, many UK homes may not have access to hydrogen gas until well past 2030.
For homeowners looking to decarbonise their heating systems today, we recommend installing a heat pump as a viable, eco-friendly alternative.
In conclusion, hydrogen presents a promising opportunity to reduce household emissions and transition to sustainable heating solutions in the UK. We are dedicated to researching and developing technologies that incorporate hydrogen into home heating systems, ensuring a greener future for generations to come.