The managing director of Baxi UK & Ireland has called for swifter measures to speed up the introduction of hydrogen in order to decarbonise home heating. Karen Boswell OBE, said more ambition needed to be shown to ensure hydrogen can take the place of natural gas in UK homes.
Baxi is currently demonstrating a hydrogen boiler as part of the UK government’s Hy4Heat programme in Low Thornley near Gateshead. The boiler produces no greenhouse gases at the point of use.
The UK government currently foresees a potential rollout of hydrogen ready boilers from 2026. Hydrogen ready boilers initially use natural gas but can be easily converted to use hydrogen as a fuel.
Under current plans, the first hydrogen town could be supported with a hydrogen grid by 2030.
Karen Boswell said, “The infrastructure, in our view, will need to move even more quickly in order to get this market going.
“Heat pumps will work in some buildings, heat networks in others but hydrogen represents a strong opportunity to solve this complex puzzle.
“If production is ramped up enough, there are no limits on the number of homes on the current gas grid that could be converted over to utilise hydrogen. This is a race in which every horse needs to be backed.”
Baxi said that it would support the reskilling of installers who will help customers to make the right decisions about low-carbon technology as it is rolled out.
Find out more about Baxi’s 100% hydrogen boiler: https://www.baxiheating.co.uk/the-future-of-heat
Hydrogen ready boilers require adjustment as the hydrogen percent is increased. Manufacturer Worcester-Bosch advise that when the final change to 100% hydrogen takes place, their boilers will need a final adjustment, so this represents a logistics challenge to have a technician available to change each boiler at the same time in the area where the change is made. And burning hydrogen using air will produce nitrogen oxides (NOx) that are harmful to our health and the environment; gas boilers are a major contributor to NOx emissions in major towns and cities. New buildings should be fitted with ground source heat pumps (GSHP) that are more efficient than air source and can be supplied with heat from a well 120 metres deep. The electricity to run a heat pump gives a return of 4 kW of heat for 1 kW of electricity. Installing GSHP during new build will keep the costs low.