The government’s plans to add hydrogen to the gas grid may not offer value for money, according to critics who argue that it could increase household bills, particularly for vulnerable households and those in fuel poverty. They urge the government to take a precautionary approach and focus on building the hydrogen economy strategically, with a focus on heavy industry and industrial clusters.
The costs and benefits of blending hydrogen into the gas grid are under scrutiny, as concerns are raised about potential risks and costs to consumers. Critics argue that hydrogen makes more sense as a fuel for heavy industry rather than heating homes.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in using hydrogen as a clean and renewable energy source. The UK government has been exploring the possibility of adding hydrogen to the gas grid as a way to decarbonize homes and reduce emissions. However, there are concerns that this approach may not be the most cost-effective or efficient solution.
Simon Francis, coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, argues that hydrogen blending is not the solution to the energy costs crisis. He raises concerns about the lack of assurance that blending hydrogen would provide good value for money and suggests that it could actually increase household bills, especially for vulnerable households and those in fuel poverty. Francis urges the government to take a precautionary approach and reconsider its blending proposals.
Juliet Phillips from the green think tank E3G echoes these concerns, emphasizing that all the evidence highlights the potential risks and costs to consumers from hydrogen blending. She points out that households are not the ones set to benefit the most from hydrogen, as experts suggest that it makes more sense as a fuel for heavy industry. Phillips calls on the government to strategically build the hydrogen economy by backing its use in heavy industry and industrial clusters.
In response, a spokesperson from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero highlights the potential of hydrogen to decarbonize homes and support industry in cutting emissions. The government is currently conducting a consultation to determine whether hydrogen blending offers strategic and economic value and meets safety standards. The spokesperson emphasizes that value for money will be a key factor in deciding whether to enable the wider roll-out of blending onto the gas network.
While the government explores the potential of hydrogen blending, critics argue that a precautionary approach is needed to ensure that it offers value for money and does not increase household bills. They suggest that focusing on the use of hydrogen in heavy industry and industrial clusters may be a more strategic and cost-effective approach. As the government continues its consultation, the findings will be crucial in determining the future of hydrogen blending and its role in the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy.