Building a hydrogen transmission network to connect localised ‘clusters’ of hydrogen production and demand could make a strong contribution to meeting Net Zero by reducing the costs of providing a secure supply of low carbon hydrogen, and will contribute towards the wider transition to a hydrogen economy.
There is a broad consensus that renewable and low-carbon hydrogen will be required to meet Net Zero, and will play a particularly important role for hard-to-abate sectors, such as industry. ‘Project Union’ is National Grid’s plan for a hydrogen transmission network, initially linking strategic hydrogen production sites, and providing the option to expand beyond this initial network to connect additional customers. Project Union could facilitate the growth of a well-functioning hydrogen market and help reduce the costs of providing a secure supply of low carbon hydrogen.
National Grid’s full report, available from National Grid here, on Project Union was published last week. It also describes the other projects National Grid is undertaking to grow the evidence base for both a blended and 100% hydrogen transmission network. The report also considers the range of ways in which the market, policy and regulatory framework will need to adapt to enable investment in hydrogen.
Over the next 12 months, National Grid will carry out the feasibility stage of Project Union, which will involve considering which pipelines from the current gas transmission system can be repurposed to support hydrogen and whether any new assets are required. Accompanying this, National Grid will complete work to deliver Project Union as a whole, including conducting customer and stakeholder engagement and developing a procurement strategy.
Frontier Economics has been advising National Grid extensively on Project Union, and on the hydrogen transition more generally, including on issues such as hydrogen infrastructure regulation and hydrogen deblending. This is in addition to our wider work in recent years with a range of clients on the hydrogen economy.
Read Frontier's Roadmap to Hydrogen here.