Driving decarbonisation in the UK
Energy company SGN manages the network that distributes natural and green gas to approximately six million homes and businesses across Scotland and southern England.
It is working alongside the government and the other gas distribution networks to develop the world’s first zero-carbon gas grid to help shape a Net Zero future for the UK.
SGN is helping to drive the transition away from fossil fuels to help decarbonise heating, transport and industry. It’s working to adapt its existing network and develop new infrastructure to enable the distribution of low-carbon alternatives like hydrogen and biomethane as a replacement for natural gas.
Why join The Solent Cluster?
SGN recognises the importance of hydrogen in the UK’s transition to a Net Zero economy by mid-century. It has been collaborating with industry organisations on several projects to build the case for hydrogen as a pivotal component to ensuring UK homes and businesses sustainably remain safe and warm long into the future.
This includes a recent co-funded feasibility study with Green Investment Group exploring how hydrogen could decarbonise emission-intense sectors in the Southampton area. Joining The Solent Cluster will help deliver the next steps of this journey: increasing the use of hydrogen to reduce regional industrial sector emissions and stimulate the local economy through the conversion of the natural gas network.
SGN is committed to ensuring the communities it serves are looked after. By uniting like-minded organisations to encourage cross-sector guidance, direction, and discussion, SGN supports the Cluster’s ambition to promote the innovations required to decarbonise the Solent region.
Transforming our natural gas network for hydrogen
In addition to its work with The Solent Cluster, SGN is developing several projects dedicated to making hydrogen the backbone of the UK’s future gas network. From world-first, zero-carbon heat systems powered by renewable energy, to switching whole cities to hydrogen, SGN’s initiatives will ensure hydrogen delivers a secure, practical and affordable energy future for all. Here are a few examples:
SGN is accelerating work to develop and connect key hydrogen production and storage sites across its network area. Alongside partner organisations, SGN will determine the route and design of hydrogen transmission infrastructure to support the company’s ambition to decarbonise heat in homes. H2 Connect will develop the design of connecting a hydrogen network in central southern England. This project will focus on the future expansion of hydrogen production, storage and imports in the Solent region. The system transformation of its gas network to hydrogen offers customers and policymakers a low-disruption and cost-effective decarbonisation pathway for heating and industry.
Central heating is responsible for up to a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas output. Switching carbon-emitting natural gas for hydrogen, which doesn’t produce carbon when it burns, is one of the ways to keep homes and businesses warm and safe while making ground in the fight against the climate emergency. On the east coast of Scotland, SGN’s H100 Fife project is laying the foundations for this change while giving residents in Levenmouth the opportunity to be at the leading edge of the low-carbon economy. The project is in the construction phase and has surpassed its target of at least 270 participants.
The Local Transmission System (LTS) is the backbone of the UK’s energy network, delivering gas from the National Transmission System (NTS) to towns and cities. Crucially, it can store gas when demand is low, to ensure a resilient supply in peak times and periods of cold weather. Hydrogen offers the best opportunity to achieve the scale and volumes needed to deliver zero-carbon heat and transport, so our LTS must adapt to carry it. Our LTS Futures project is researching and testing the compatibility of all the LTS assets and pipelines with hydrogen. The project will end with a first-of-its-kind repurposing trial and demonstration. The pipeline we’re using in this live trial is statistically representative, which will help us develop a blueprint methodology for repurposing the entire LTS in the UK for hydrogen.
Capital Hydrogen is a 15-20 year programme which could deliver a transition to hydrogen for gas pipeline networks in London, the east of England and the South East. The programme could help London achieve Net Zero, generate skilled jobs, boost energy independence and allow greater choice to customers. The programme roadmap has been informed by a feasibility study that identifies London’s hydrogen demand and shows how repurposed and new pipelines will be developed to carry hydrogen to customers.
Paul Rose, Regional Development Manager, Future of Energy, SGN
“We’re proud to be a significant Cluster partner following our Southampton-based feasibility study, which is investigating hydrogen production in the area to decarbonise emission-intense sectors like heavy industry, transport and heating. We believe hydrogen has a key role to play in our journey to Net Zero, and it could replace natural gas in our distribution network, enabling hundreds of thousands of homes in the region to benefit from locally sourced clean energy.”
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