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HSE helps pioneering hydrogen fuel trial get underway. Aug 2020

Over Christmas the flame was lit on a project that is the first step along a possible road of change for our future, decarbonised energy needs.

HyDeploy is a pioneering energy demonstration to establish the potential for blending hydrogen, up to 20%, into the UK gas supply so that we can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

A year-long pilot of blended gas went live in late December at Keele University, supplying 100 homes and 30 faculty buildings.

Keele was chosen because it has its own private gas network and a campus population similar to a small town. The live pilot will assist in understanding the level of hydrogen which can be used by customers safely and with no changes to their existing domestic appliances.

Heating for domestic properties and industry currently accounts for half of the UK's energy consumption and one third of its carbon emissions, with 83% of homes using gas to keep warm.

The 20% volume blend means that customers can continue to use their gas supply as normal, without any changes to gas appliances or pipework, while still reducing carbon emissions. Introducing a 20% hydrogen blend could save around 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the road.

Backed by Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition, the £7 million project is led by Cadent in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, integrated hydrogen energy systems manufacturer ITM-Power, independent clean energy company Progressive Energy and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), through its Bespoke Research and Consultancy services.

HSE has played an important role throughout the project to date, using facilities at the HSE Science and Research Centre to conduct extensive research on the effect of hydrogen on the different materials found in the gas network and the appliances. Additionally, HSE, plus other project partners, also carried out laboratory tests on a range of gas appliances, prior to the live trial.

The information was then used to gain special approval for the hydrogen blended gas to be delivered under the existing UK Gas Safety (Management) Regulations (GS(M)R). This means it is delivered as legally compliant gas during the live pilot and is considered to be 'as safe as natural gas' for customers to use.

Learn more at our forthcoming event - the Future of Gas III

HyDeploy is just one of several major hydrogen energy projects that will be discussed at the forthcoming Future of Gas event.

Back for the third time, the 2020 event will also provide insights into the safe production and use of hydrogen, giving a whole system perspective.

The Future of Gas III - Informing a Safe Distance by 2025. Training Event from HSE Birmingham 25-26 March 2020

By sharing knowledge and working collaboratively, we will not only help the UK make an informed decision in time to achieve net zero by 2050, but also position the UK as global leaders in decarbonised energy innovation, technology and know-how, so that we can influence and enable international change.

Take a look at our event page to find out more.

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