Hydrogen: the future of home heating?

Hydrogen is one of a handful of low carbon solutions that has been discussed as a possibility to play a part in helping the UK’s decarbonisation plans. In the UK there are millions of homes, businesses and industries that all rely on energy each day, but the way we each use energy and the demands we have on energy supplies differs. It is important that this is something that forms part of the conversation when it comes to net-zero and what route the UK will take in the future.

Currently in the UK we rely on various energy sources with the biggest being natural gas, a source we could not sustain our economy without. We know we need to change the way we power our homes and buildings and find more renewable and low carbon options if we are to reach our net-zero targets, but to what extent will hydrogen be utilised?

The industry has focused their efforts heavily on heat pumps as the preferred alternative to natural gas and with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme already in full swing, we can guarantee that heat pump technology will be at the forefront of driving us forward on the path to net-zero. However, we know that heat pumps are not necessarily the most sustainable option for many homes, businesses or industries.

As of January 2023 there have been a total of 12,981 BUS voucher applications received and 11,086 vouchers have been issued. A total of 8,171 voucher redemption applications have been received with 7,641 approved and paid. The Government has targets to raise heat pump installs to 600,000 installations every year by 2028 but currently around 50,000 are installed per year.

The delivery of the BUS so far highlights that heat pumps, whilst taking an important part in the decarbonising agenda, may not provide the solution to all residential homes as we progress forward with the UK’s net zero plans.

In order to successfully decarbonise the UK there’s a strong need to look at other renewable options and begin to tailor our approach to each sector of the UK.

It has been reported that our country’s gas grids could be ready to start delivering hydrogen around the country as early as this year. A hybrid approach to hydrogen consists of blending natural gas with 20% hydrogen gas.

The main reason for considering hydrogen more seriously as a player in net-zero is the fact that there are so many different uses of power across the UK that we cannot afford to make the mistake of pushing the same solution onto everybody, particularly when it comes to some areas of the housing stock which can’t readily accommodate a heat pump.

Hydrogen may be the most efficient option for certain types of homes and big industries like rail, aviation, steel production and shipping.

The main take away here is that there can be no one size fits all when it comes to decarbonising each area of the UK, so we’re keen to see Government push forward with it’s highly significant trials and feasibility studies in order to determine the viability of adding hydrogen to the mix of options available to the UK customer base.

For further information and updates regarding hydrogen, hello hydrogen is a dedicated source: www.hellohydrogen.com

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