According to the Committee on Climate Change report, UK hydrogen technology development has been lagging. To change this, diverse projects have been set up by the UK government to find ways of making the most of hydrogen beneficial to the country.
Clean energy source
Due to its nature, Hydrogen gas is considered a critical new clean energy resource. Because once hydrogen has burned the only waste produced is water, it is a comprehensive fossil fuel alternative capable of ensuring homes are heated, cars powered and factories operated by such a low carbon source of energy.
Must be affordable
For any source of energy to effectively deal with the climate crisis anywhere, including the UK, it must display clean energy attributes and cheap for widespread use. Currently, hydrogen production has been on-going heavily globally mostly for refining of oil and manufacturing fertilisers. Nonetheless, most regions on Earth use methane gas rather than hydrogen in these applications; methane is actually notorious for polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.
According to the IEA (International Energy Agency), the production of hydrogen actually releases carbon to the atmosphere at a rate of 830 million tonnes annually. While carbon dioxide removal from hydrogen production is possible, the process is expensive and makes the usefulness of hydrogen as a clean energy source unpalatable.
Now a different cheaper method could change all that.
EDF Energy is spearheading the H2H (Hydrogen to Heysham) project where electrolysers linked to the Heysham nuclear energy station will be used to divide water molecules creating oxygen and hydrogen. Of course, renewable energy sources can create the gas using the same method but nuclear produces energy that’s low in carbon and very cost effective.
Lancaster as a chief hydrogen hub
H2H is expected to make Lancaster a chief hydrogen centre, considering the project’s partnership with Lancaster University will see an intensive research centre for the project created. Hydrogen once produced will be significant for different applications in transport and local industries and even heat Lancaster homes in the near future.
H2H project is already carrying out diverse studies to study the technical and commercial potential of the project. Later on, a demo project will be arranged at the Heysham location slated to kick off in 2020. While the project is in its early steps, the scheme’s stakeholders expect nuclear production of hydrogen to pick up fast in all eight UK nuclear power hubs.
New way of maximising on nuclear
Hydrogen to Heysham has been touted as a new method of maximising on the potential of nuclear within the UK. Nuclear is a low carbon reliable energy source cable of producing low carbon power that would be effective in lowering UK’s carbon footprint.
According to the Climate Change Committee, 2050 should see the capacity of hydrogen production in the UK equal or surpassing that of the current gas-fuelled powered stations. As a result, the H2H project has kicked off with the hope of meeting this ambitious objective.