Britain’s five gas network companies (Cadent, National Grid, NGN, SGN, and Wales & West Utilities) are calling on the Government to unlock over £900 million investment in green gas network infrastructure across the country as part of its economic response to the COVID-19 crisis, and to kick start the development of the world’s first zero carbon gas grid in the UK.
The call comes as Energy Networks Association (ENA) publishes new research showing that if investment into zero carbon hydrogen infrastructure began today then the country would be a net beneficiary of that investment before 2045, five years ahead of its 2050 net zero carbon emissions target and saving bill payers £89 billion by that date.
Gas network companies are urging the Government to back its Zero Carbon Commitment package of £904 million of investment both as part of its plans for the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and its long term decarbonization policy. The investment would be used to prepare Britain’s gas grid for a switchover from using methane natural gas to zero carbon hydrogen and biomethane.
The commitment includes plans to invest £264 million in ‘cross-cutting’ projects that will expand the capacity of local gas networks to connect more hydrogen and biomethane generation projects, vehicle refueling stations, and ensure network operators have the right systems in place to manage the gas used by those connections.
The commitment is being made as part ENA’s Gas Goes Green program, which is seeking to create the world’s first zero carbon gas grid in the UK based on a pathway published last autumn. Decisions on energy network investment are made by the energy regulator, Ofgem, and are dependent on Government policy. The regulator is due to make a decision on gas network investment in in July.
“With the solutions to tackling climate change being as much local as they are national, we have to take the #buildbackbetter opportunity to rebalance our economy in the right way. As the government looks to set out its plans for the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, our members are ready to play their part. We have a plan that’s ready to go. So let’s unlock the investment that’s needed, and create the world’s first zero carbon gas grid here in the UK,” said David Smith, ENA Chief Executive.