Wales & West Utilities announces major project to develop a low carbon hydrogen network for North Wales
Wales & West Utilities (WWU) announces major project to develop a low carbon hydrogen network for North Wales.
The project will provide a detailed assessment of the potential of the existing infrastructure in Deeside and Wrexham industrial estates for transporting hydrogen.
The findings will suggest how industrial and commercial (I&C) customers can make use of existing infrastructure to adopt a hydrogen network and decarbonise in a cost-efficient way.
Part of the work will be to also understand how new infrastructure could open further opportunities for producing, transporting and storing hydrogen in North Wales.
Wales & West Utilities (WWU) has announced plans to assess the capability of its existing North Wales infrastructure for transporting hydrogen as part of its future network planning strategy. The plans could be implemented in the early 2030s to support UK and Welsh Government ambitions for industrial decarbonisation.
The feasibility study – delivered in partnership with Apollo Engineering – will provide a detailed assessment of the infrastructure needed to advance opportunities for hydrogen in Wrexham and Deeside. This will include links with HyNet – which is developing core hydrogen and carbon dioxide pipeline infrastructure for the North West industrial cluster, with links in to North Wales.
WWU’s project will explore supply and demand scenarios, with the aim of understanding how much of the existing hydrogen rollout to industrial customers before 2030 and domestic customers after 2030. It will also develop options for changes to the current method for implementing industrial cost-sharing ‘infill’ schemes, which allows customers to share the cost of adopting a hydrogen network, and could reduce the cost of rolling out hydrogen for industry.
The study will build on findings from WWUs Regional Decarbonisation Pathways and the government’s Industrial Fuel Switching programme.
Matt Hindle, Head of Net Zero and Sustainability said: “The 2020s must be a decade of delivery. Hydrogen will be vital to decarbonise industry, retaining jobs and developing new low carbon opportunities. We’re delighted to be launching this project with support from a range partners in industry, in line with the UK government’s Net Zero plans.
"Our hydrogen plans will build on Wales's industrial heritage and kick-start the Green Industrial Revolution within the North East Wales cluster, to create a trusted, sustainable, prosperous and resilient industry that the citizens of Wales can continue to be proud of."
Over 2022/23, WWU started 19 new projects, funded by a total investment of £2.2 million, including £1.5m of Network Innovation Allowance funding. A further 38 projects are planned for the rest of 2023 into 2024.
Wales & West Utilities is the company that looks after the pipes that keep the gas flowing to heat the homes and power businesses of 7.5m people across Wales and south west England. We operate the gas emergency service, connect new homes and businesses, and upgrade the gas network so it’s safe today and fit for the future.
We are investing £400m between 2021 and 2026 in the gas network, supporting our journey to net zero. By 2035, we aim to deliver a net zero ready network to the areas most likely to convert to hydrogen, transforming our entire network by 2040.
The company is also committed to playing its part in getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It has 54 power stations connected to its network to support renewables like wind and solar power, while 20 green gas sites have capacity to inject enough decarbonised green gas to meet the demand of around 150,000 homes. Our network supplies bus garages in three locations across the south west of England, fuelling CNG buses that improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions from public transport.