Media hype for subsidised Scottish project to heat 300 homes with 100% green hydrogen 

Posted: November 30, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, hydrogen, innovation, News

Scottish offshore wind project [image credit :]

Billed as ‘A bright future for Levenmouth’, the claim that switching to hydrogen could ‘save energy customers across Britain billions of pounds’ looks rose-tinted to say the least. Maybe it’s easy to get carried away when you imagine you’re going to save the world, or something.
– – –
Fife has leapt closer to launching the world’s first 100% green hydrogen network with the announcement of an £18 million funding boost, reports The Courier.

Three hundred homes across Levenmouth will be connected to the network, with residents becoming the first in the world to use zero carbon hydrogen for heating and cooking.

Householders will be invited to get involved in the four to five year trial from late next year.

Energy regulator Ofgem has awarded funding to gas network company SGN to build its H100 Fife hydrogen demonstration project at the energy park in Methil.

The trial has been hailed as a revolutionary, with the potential to cut carbon emissions while improving the Fife economy.

It will see the initial 300 customers given a free hydrogen connection, free replacement hydrogen appliances and free maintenance over the length of the project.

SGN said the hydrogen appliances would connect to the existing pipes for zero carbon cooking and heating.

New hydrogen-ready boilers will be provided but there will be no need to replace radiators or plumbing and households will pay the same as for natural gas.

The project aims to demonstrate how renewable energy produced by offshore wind can generate a secure and reliable supply of green hydrogen to heat homes.

If successful, homes and businesses across the UK could eventually receive hydrogen heating via 170,000 miles of pipes.

Full report here.

  1. Chaswarnertoo says:

    H2 is a sneaky, leaky gas. Why not add a few C atoms to make it safer and better to burn…

  2. saighdear says:

    that’s £60 THOUSAND per house and £12 THOUSAND each year ….. what kind of house needs so much heating / power ?
    Don’t we ALSO KNOW that burning Hydrogen produces WATER Vapour: MORE GREATER Warming potential + Steam Clouds appearing? Condensation in homes etc etc….. ElectricHeat isa DRY Heat.

  3. cognog2 says:

    Does Ofcom have the statutory right to invest in dubious schemes such as this? I thought it’s role was to protect the consumer not burden it with unnecessary increased costs.

    Has an independent audit of the long term financial implications taken place? If so- may we see it?
    IMO this sort of governmental action needs parliamentary scrutiny.

  4. Coeur de Lion says:

    Wait for the first hindenburg

  5. spetzer86 says:

    I wonder if that comes with free insurance if your house decides to go “boom”? When they say H2 will cost the same as the current gas service, do they mean per liter or per BTU?

  6. Kip Hansen says:

    Are they going to odorize the hydrogen so one can detect explosive leaks in the home? Require roof vents to release unburned hydrogen just in case? Propane and natural gas as dangerous enough — but hydrogen gas ? ? ? In the home?

    One of my boys made a six-foot diameter hydrogen-filled balloon and sent it up on a kite-string, about 100 meters. Blew it up (used slow-burning cannon fuse taped to the outside)…..rocked the entire neighborhood. I can just imagine the same in one’s kitchen…..

  7. oldbrew says:

    The average cost of a natural gas pipeline is about $1 million per mile. The US has about 200,000 miles of natural gas pipeline. A similar infrastructure to deliver hydrogen would cost about $200 trillion.
    – – –
    Game over?

  8. ivan says:

    I just hope there are no tower blocks in that area – a small leak in one would make Grenfell look like a lit match by comparison.

    I also hope they have a series of one way valves in the supply piping – a flame that gets into the piping would cover the total area in seconds (I saw a guy clearing his property of moles by injecting propane into the mole run and then lighting it off, he blew up the whole set of runs moles included) fuel/air bombs are VERY destructive.

  9. Phoenix44 says:

    Once again people in charge of an economy without the slightest notion how an economy actually works:

    “The trial has been hailed as a revolutionary, with the potential to cut carbon emissions while improving the Fife economy.”

    Pumping borrowed money into replacing existing productive assets CANNOT improve any economy.

  10. Dave Ward says:

    “IMO this sort of governmental action needs parliamentary scrutiny”

    Along with other “governmental action” currently destroying the country & economy…

    “I saw a guy clearing his property of moles by injecting propane into the mole run and then lighting it off, he blew up the whole set of runs moles included”

    I’ve done that, but found neat Propane wasn’t much use, so I stuck the end of a large burner blowtorch down a hole for a couple of minutes. That injected a highly combustible mixture into the runs, and made a much bigger bang! VERY satisfying, although I nearly set fire to an outbuilding, and the bloody moles came back…

  11. pochas94 says:

    Don’t worry. As soon as the first explosion wipes out a whole town you can move to Germany where they are going back to coal.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Hydrogen is extremely flammable. However this is mitigated by the fact that hydrogen rapidly rises and often disperses before ignition, unless the escape is in an enclosed, unventilated area.
    . . .
    In February 2018, on the way to an FCV hydrogen station, a truck carrying about 24 compressed hydrogen tanks caught fire. This caused the evacuation initially of a one-mile radius area of Diamond Bar, a suburb of Los Angeles, CA.

    The H2 incidents website has been archived off the main internet.

  13. Jc Collins says:

    Noice. So use bloody ineffective windmills to generate electricity to do electrolysis of water, so that the hydrogen can be compressed, using electric power, and sent via a new, hydrogen safe piping system, so that it can be turned once again into electricity and water. This will, supposedly, bring great savings of energy? Engineer Rube Goldberg, please pick up the white courtesy telephone.

  14. oldbrew says:

    More bungs for Scotland’s climate guinea pigs…

    Clean energy flexibility project rolls out on Orkney
    December 3, 2020

    Energy storage batteries, electric vehicles, smart chargers and smart meters are being made available to residents and businesses on the Scottish island of Orkney as part of a new low carbon project.

    The initiative is designed to showcase energy flexibility and pave the way for other regions in the UK to adopt a localised, integrated approach to energy systems.

    The services are being provided by ReFLEX Orkney, a £28.5 million energy consortium part funded by UK Research and Innovation through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and match-funded by private investment.
    – – –
    Charging batteries from batteries again 🙄

  15. oldbrew says:

    cognog says: ‘Does Ofcom have the statutory right to invest in dubious schemes such as this? I thought its role was to protect the consumer not burden it with unnecessary increased costs.’
    – – –
    Rewiring Britain for a net zero future: Ofgem publishes Decarbonisation Action Plan
    Publication date: 3rd February 2020
    Information type: Press release

    One of its bullet points:
    Set up an innovation fund focused on unlocking investment in innovative solutions to tackle climate change

    Under ‘Notes’, no. 4 says:
    Ofgem provides innovation funding through its RIIO-1 price controls. As part of the Network Innovation Competition up to £20 million is available for gas innovation and up to £70 million is available for electricity innovation per year. Up to £61 million is also available each year to find [sic] smaller research and development demonstration projects through the Network Innovation Allowance.

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