The British public can now invest in a hydrogen-ready network for the first time ever.
Such news was confirmed today (24th March) with the launch of a green transition bond which will help fund the upgrade of pipes to prepare the gas distribution network to transport hydrogen.
Gas distributor Northern Gas Networks (NGN) teamed up with Abundance, an ethical investment crowdfunding platform, to launch the bond.
The investment in Northern Gas Networks’ Finance Plc seeks to raise £1m ($1.3m) through a lower-risk, long term investment with returns of 1.6% a year over a 10-year term. As with all Abundance products, the minimum investment is just £5.
“We want to give the communities we serve the opportunity to help with this transition by investing directly into our pipe replacement programme,” said Gareth Mills, NGN’s Director of Regulation and Strategic Planning.
“It provides a means by which we can engage with each other on the energy transition, build trust and create a roadmap to net zero that feels like a just transition for all.”
Bruce Davis, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Abundance, added, “Abundance’s customers want to back a range of solutions to deliver a net zero future, and this is the first time we’ve been able to offer them something that directly tackles heating in the home.”
“It’s also the first time we’ve worked with a major utility which has chosen crowdfunding to enable their customers to participate directly in the net zero transition.”
“The development of hydrogen, alongside other technologies like heat pumps, offers a practical solution that will make a real difference to cutting emissions.”
As part of NGN’s plans to transition its network to net zero, three quarters of the region’s pipework has already been upgraded from metallic mains to polyethylene and the investment will help replace a further 2,900 km by 2026.
Such effort brings two major carbon cutting benefits: it creates a hydrogen-ready gas network; and will make an impact on carbon targets by reducing emissions from the day-to-day operation of the network.