The UK’s first homes where the appliances are powered entirely by hydrogen are being built in Gateshead – and they’re set to be open to the public in April.
Offering the first glimpse into the potential home of the future where no carbon emissions are released, the boilers, hobs, cookers and fires in the two semi-detached houses will use 100% hydrogen for domestic heating and cooking.
The homes aim to show the public how hydrogen has the potential to be used as a clean replacement to natural gas.
“From running a hot bath and cooking our evening meals to turning on the heating, most of us use natural gas every day,” said Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“However, to tackle climate change, we need to find alternatives to fossil fuels and move towards making clean energy the norm.”
“While these new houses in Gateshead will look like any other, they will showcase how low carbon hydrogen can transform the way we power our homes and offer a glimpse of what the future holds as we build back greener.”
The hydrogen house project is aligned with a larger scheme detailed in the Prime Minister’s Ten point plan – establishing a hydrogen neighbourhood in 2023, a hydrogen village by 2025, and a hydrogen town before the end of the decade.
The houses are planned to be open to members of the public, who will be able to view appliances and see how they compare to existing ones.
Local schools, colleges and universities will also be welcomed to learn about the new technology, as well as potential careers in the emerging green economy and in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
The project secured a £250,000 grant from the government’s Hy4Heat Innovation programme and is being run by gas company Northern Gas Networks and Cadent, who have both also input £250,000 of funding each.
“Just like natural gas, hydrogen can heat homes in exactly the same way, meaning minimal change for customers in terms of how they use gas for heating or cooking,” said Mark Horsley, CEO of Northern Gas Networks.
“The houses bring to life the potential of this green gas for keeping UK homes warm, while minimising impact on the environment.”
The heating in these houses could be powered by a boiler like the one Worcester Bosch unveiled in 2020.
The UK boiler manufacturer has been investigating how the existing gas grid could use a low carbon gas to power boilers and central heating systems since 2017. And Worcester Bosch believes hydrogen is the answer.
In February 2020, Worcester Bosch unveiled its “hydrogen-ready” boiler that can run on natural gas but is capable of converting to 100% hydrogen following a one-hour visit by an engineer.
H2 View travelled to Worcester Bosch’s headquarters in Worcester to see the technology for ourselves. If you missed our interview with Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication & Product Management at Worcester Bosch, read it again here.