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Major Welsh hydrogen pipeline plans could soon provide heating for homes

08 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Plans for a major hydrogen pipeline in south Wales have been announced.

Plans for a major hydrogen pipeline in south Wales have been announced by Wales & West Utilities.

HyLine Cymru will assess the feasibility of a pipeline network from Pembroke to the Swansea Bay area, connecting low carbon hydrogen production with industrial demand.

If built, the pipeline will pave the way for commercial-scale hydrogen production in Pembrokeshire, Port Talbot and in the Celtic Sea.

It could also lead to the conversion of home heating to hydrogen; enabling south Wales towns to go green while keeping disruption to homes and communities to a minimum, and connect to National Grid’s Project Union, which will establish a National Hydrogen Transmission System.

Matt Hindle, Head of Net Zero and Sustainability at Wales & West Utilities, said: “Hydrogen will play a central role in decarbonising heavy industry and building the economy and jobs of the future. HyLine Cymru will help make sure Welsh homes and businesses can make the most of the opportunities offered by hydrogen. 

“We’re delighted to be leading this project to explore the feasibility of transporting hydrogen produced in Pembroke to the central and easterly regions of south Wales, connecting hydrogen supply and demand.

“The 2020s must be a decade of delivery, where we put the research and development work that has been done on hydrogen into practice. If we are to decarbonise homes, businesses and heavy industry across Wales then we need to get moving on the infrastructure now.”

Chris Williams, Head of Industrial Decarbonisation at Industry Wales, said: “This proposed hydrogen pipeline will unlock opportunities for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea and help ensure that renewable development is maximised for the benefit of industry in south Wales. 

“Hydrogen infrastructure is crucial for the development of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC), and to enable industrial fuel switching where electrification is not an option. This project will significantly de-risk hydrogen production and demand projects which need connecting infrastructure and help secure the 100,000 people employed in south Wales industries as they go through their just transition to net zero.”

Hyline collaboration

The South Wales Industrial Cluster was formed in 2019, to help plan and shape a route to net-zero for industries in south Wales. 

Hydrogen can replace natural gas in industrial processes, as well as for heating and cooking in homes. It provides energy in the same way, but does not produce carbon dioxide at the point of use.

HyLine Cymru is being led by Wales & West Utilities in collaboration with eight key organisations to explore the feasibility of transporting hydrogen to maximise the decarbonisation opportunity in south Wales.

Those taking part are: Associated British Ports (ABP), Dolphyn Celtic Sea Developments, LanzaTech, National Grid Gas Transmission (NGGT), Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC), RWE, Shell, and Tata Steel UK.


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Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago

Whilst it is always nice to hear about projects that will move us away from fossil fuels, we should perhaps be a bit skeptical about the idea of heating homes with hydrogen. Hydrogen works to replace coal in iron smelting and can replace natural gas in a number of industrial processes. However, most current hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels which is not a step forward. It needs to be produced from renewable and, although the technology exists and is being used in various places, it is not particularly energy efficient. For home heating retro-fit insulation and similar measures plus… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Is there a technology that uses Hydrogen to produce electricity efficiently? A lot of the current rush to implement various solutions fail to place sufficient importance on the cost to consumers. The “green at any cost” mantra is 100% daft unless there is a clear pathway to securing fairly immediate and sustainable cost reductions that benefit the ordinary punter in our communities. Anything else is just money in the coffers of the big corporates and they have already done well out of this business.

Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

If I’m feeling really cynical, I sometimes think Hydrogen is a jam tomorrow technology that will deliver in 15 years time or so (it has been about the same timeframe away in the future throughout this century so far), so we can happily keep on the fossil fuel wagon in the meantime. I notice they haven’t really spelled out how they generate the hydrogen – I assume they mean by using wind power when it’s windy in excess of the ability of the National Grid to use the power, so instead use it to electrolyse water to make hydrogen gas.… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

There is a company that has the Hydrogen electrolysis technology in production now. It is based in Yorkshire: ITM Power.
They can set up the technology in Wales.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Valid point, but Hydrogen is a byproduct of those polluting processes. So better to use it than release it, since it’s not creating any extra pollution in its manufacture. Also there are means to produce hydrogen cleanly. My employer has one hydrogen powered pool car and one hydrogen powered van (as part of quite a large fleet. ~I don’t think we are moving forward with that, but its only emissions are water. Personally I’m trying to expunge any gas usage in my home. Microwaves, Air Fryers and Induction hobs are cheaper than any means of gas cooking. I just need… Read more »

Citizen
Citizen
25 days ago

Personally I am not convinced that CO2 levels are a real problem. It is only 0.04 % of the atmosphere and the climate models indicate that for every one degree of Centegrade increase the amount of CO2 has to double. Therefore we are unlikely to have any problems with climate warming as we would have to double our total industrial output from the start of the industrial revolution in order to gain just 1C. The plants are growing faster due to the extra CO2 so this will slow the effect as well. In conclusion I suspect that we are being… Read more »

Mawkernewek
1 month ago

I’m almost certain that the picture use to illustrate this article is in mid-Cornwall somewhere in the china clay mining area.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Well, this Nation Cymru, and they never b—- up?
Realists must face all this stuff down, and elect folk with their feet on the ground instead of these green cricket eaters. Algeria has just applied to join BRICS, and if you don’t know what that signals, you will not be aware that West Europe is very deep in cricket gumbo.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Define “realists” in this instance. I’m not sure you’re using the word correctly.
This is a viable energy source.

Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Isn’t Algeria one of the world’s biggest sources of Helium? It is found in some of their natural gas fields, so no more helium party balloons then?

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

South south south south ……………………………..!

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
1 month ago

See headline, think great news.
Read article oh its for South Wales.
No surprise there.

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