Jacob Young MP: reflections on the potential of hydrogen to heat our homes
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Last week I was delighted to host a session of the Hydrogen APPG with Worcester Bosch to explore the new hydrogen boilers they are producing. It was a timely session given that it coincided with the first installation of a hydrogen boiler in a private home in the UK.
Hydrogen technology is coming to the fore in the debate around climate change and the UK’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050. Within the UK more than 80% of homes (23 million) are connected to the gas grid and domestic heating accounts for about 15% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Every year about 1.6 million boilers are installed across the UK. The chance to move to a heating system which produces no CO2 emissions is a significant opportunity that we should seize.
Our session last week was an opportunity for my parliamentary colleagues to learn first-hand the efforts that have been made to develop a hydrogen ready boiler – and to understand the benefits of the technology behind it. The new hydrogen boilers being developed by Worcester Bosch are the same size as existing gas combi boilers and have the versatility to run off natural gas whilst the hydrogen network is being expanded.
Understandably the discussion amongst my parliamentary colleagues covered a lot of ground including questions around timescales, costs for consumers and what will be required to modify the gas grid in the coming years to supply hydrogen safely. The potential of hydrogen is I think now well understood – it can play a significant role in terms of decarbonising our economy, meeting our environmental obligations whilst also creating a new industrial base for our country.
For me the discussion highlighted that the onus is now on the Government to set out very clearly – in its forthcoming Hydrogen Strategy - the role it sees hydrogen playing in fulfilling our future energy needs. Companies such as Worcester Bosch have invested time and resources in developing cutting edge hydrogen technology. They need reassurance that there will be sufficient backing – and capacity – to ensure we can make the most of hydrogen. I will continue to do all I can, through the Hydrogen APPG, to keep the pressure on the Government to ensure the UK becomes a world leader in hydrogen.