The Anonymous Widower

Cadent Launches Report Mapping Out Routes To Hydrogen Fuelled Vehicles On UK Roads

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Gasworld.

This is the first paragraph.

A roadmap using hydrogen to decarbonise transport, particularly commercial transport, in the North West of the UK, has been unveiled by the country’s leading gas distribution network Cadent.

The article makes some points about hydrogen-powered transport.

  • Using Cadent’s network to deliver hydrogen, rather than tube trailers, massively reduces the cost and makes fuel cell electric cars (FCEVs) available to the general public for around the same price as a battery electric vehicle or a conventional diesel car.
  • FCEVs can travel further than battery electric vehicles and take the same time to refuel as a conventional petrol car.
  • Grid-supplied hydrogen is the most cost-effective way of supplying hydrogen transport fuel at the required volume – up to six times cheaper than if delivered by trailer and 70 per cent cheaper than electrolysis.

Cadent‘s interest in all this, is not about selling gas, as their interest and income is totalling in transporting gas from producers to end users. So they don’t care whether they transport natural gas or hydrogen.

Hydrogen Storage

The article also discloses plans of INOVYN, a wholly owned subsidiary of INEOS, to develop a grid-scale hydrogen storage facility.

It will be in salt caverns in mid-Cheshire.

It will be able to hold 2,000 tonnes of hydrogen.

It is cheaper to store hydrogen in salt caverns, than on the surface.

The salt caverns have been used to store gas for decades.

This is a quote from the INOYN spokesman.

Storage is a vital component of delivering a viable hydrogen energy system in the UK.

I only had an indirect quick glimpse underground, when I worked at ICI in the area around 1970, but ICI’s salt expert, said they had enough salt in Cheshire to last 9,000 years at the current rate of extraction.

Salt in Cheshire, is a unique geological formation, that is very valuable to the UK and it looks like in the future, thar could enable hydrogen power.

Hydrogen Generation

The hydrogen will still need to be produced. Wikipedia has an entry caslled Hydrogran Production, which is fairly dismissive of electrolysis.

But in my view, hydrogen could be produced by electrolysis using wind power, as other methods like steam reforming of methane produce carbon-dioxide.

I particularly like the idea of building wind farms in clusters around offshore gas platforms, that have extracted all the gas from the fields, they were built to serve.

  • Instead of running electricity cables to the wind farms,  hydrogen is produced by electrolysis on the platform and this is transported to the shore using the same gas infrastructure, that brought the natural gas onshore.
  • This could enable wind-farms to be developed much further offshore.
  • If carbon capture is ever successfully made to work, the existing gas pipe could also be used to transfer the carbon dioxide offshore for storage in worked-out gas fields.
  • The pipe between platform and shore could easily be made reversible, carrying hydrogen one way and carbon dioxide the other.

All of the technology required would also appear to be fully developed.

Conclusion

I am convinced that in the next few years, a hydrogen gas network can be created in parts of the UK.

The North West has advantages in becoming one of the first parts of the UK to have an extensive hydrogen network.

  • It has the means to produce hydrogen gas.
  • It has large wind farms in Liverpool Bay.
  • There are worked-out gas fields, that might in the future be used for carbon storage.
  • If INOVYN can store large quantities of hydrogen, this is a big advantage.

The biggest problem would be converting large numbers of houses and commercial premises from natural gas to hydrogen.

But, we’ve been through that process before, when we changed from town gas to natural gas in the 1960s and 1970s.

Should We Remove Gas From Our Houses?

I only use gas for heating.

  • I feel that naked flames are not a good idea to have anywhere near people, as they can produce oxides of nitrgen, that causes health problems.
  • Gas cookers are also a major cause of household fires.
  • Technology is moving against cooking with gas, as more more to electric induction hobs.
  • If you are fitting a new gas boiler, make sure it can be connected to hydrogen.

When I buy my next property, it will be all electric.

 

June 7, 2019 - Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. the full report on the Hymotion project is at https://hynet.co.uk/app/uploads/2019/06/15480_CADENT_HYMOTION_PROJECT_REP.pdf

    This is strongly supported by Steve Rotheram, so has important political backing http://www.nwhydrogenalliance.co.uk/news-hydrogen-key-to-zero-carbon-society-says-metro-mayor/

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 7, 2019 | Reply

  2. Liverpool is unique amongst British cities in that it has an almost fully-electrified railway network, hydrogen production along the Mersey, hydrogen expertise in the University and at Alstom in Widnes, so this focuses minds on decarbonising other areas, like transport and gas networks to homes and businesses.

    I know the Liverpool psyche well and hydrogen enthusiasm could be a case of everybody pulling the same way.

    Comment by AnonW | June 7, 2019 | Reply

    • other regions that I know have plans for creating a local hydrogen network are Teesside and Humberside. I think this is one area where regional mayors can come into their own. There are a couple of schemes for trials of mixing hydrogen in with the gas supply as a first step.

      Comment by Peter Robins | June 7, 2019 | Reply

      • I know about the mixing, but we should all cut out gas appliances where possible, as many we have may not work very well on anything other than natural gas due to their age.

        Comment by AnonW | June 7, 2019

      • I also think that a local hydrogen network could attract industries that need a lot of energy at times like perhaps foundries, if we have a serious carbon tax.

        Comment by AnonW | June 7, 2019

  3. I’m currently debating what to do with my venerable old boiler. The problem atm is that there’s not really much alternative for the average household. Heat pumps have their advocates, but they’re far too expensive, and in any case don’t work with existing radiators. Ditto electric radiators. I live in a flat, so solar panels aren’t an option, and in any case solar isn’t much use for heating, as you need heat mostly when the sun isn’t shining. District heating/heat networks, perhaps creating power from waste, would probably be the best solution, but that requires herding large numbers of cats.

    So I shall probably end up putting in a standard combi boiler, as it’s the simplest and cheapest solution.

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 7, 2019 | Reply

    • Let me know how you get on asking for one that can also be hydrogen fuelled! You wouldn’t want to buy another ine in five years time!

      Comment by AnonW | June 7, 2019 | Reply

      • I would imagine the reaction would be ‘yer wot mate?’ 🙂

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 7, 2019

  4. see also https://energyinnovationdistrict.com/blog/2019/4/10/uk-first-waste-plastic-to-hydrogen-project-to-be-delivered-at-protos Could be significant if works as advertised.

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 7, 2019 | Reply


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