£900m net zero infrastructure plan proposed by Britain’s gas networks

Plans to invest more than £900m in switching Britain’s gas grid from using methane natural gas to hydrogen and biomethane have been unveiled today by the country’s five gas network operators.

Cadent, National Grid, NGN, SGN, and Wales & West Utilities want to use a proposed £904m investment to develop green gas network infrastructure over the next five years as part of plans for the UK’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and the country’s long-term decarbonisation policy.

The Zero Carbon Commitment package, part of Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Gas Goes Green programme, includes plans to invest:

  • £446m in new network infrastructure for projects that roll out the industrial use of hydrogen, as well as domestic trials. This includes £391m of investment in engineering and design work for carbon, capture, utilisation and storage projects in the north-west of England, Aberdeenshire and the Isle of Grain.
  • £264m in ‘cross-cutting’ projects that will expand the capacity of local gas networks to connect more hydrogen and bio-methane generation projects, transport refuelling stations, and ensure network operators have the right systems in place to manage the gas used by those connections.
  • £150m for running new, large scale trials of domestic appliances providing hydrogen heating, cooking and transportation appliances connected to the gas grid, starting in controlled environments, before moving on to unoccupied and finally occupied premises.
  • £44m in projects to understand how to blend an increasing amount of zero carbon hydrogen with the natural gas currently used in our gas networks, to gradually replace it.

The five gas network operators are seeking approval from the government and energy regulator Ofgem. A decision on gas network investment is expected in July.

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