Redcar’s ‘Hydrogen Village’ project abandoned following local opposition

A plan to use hydrogen to heat homes in a village in North-East England has been canceled after months of opposition.
Insufficient hydrogen production in the area will prevent the government from implementing the “hydrogen villages” in Redcar, which was expected to begin in 2025.

The decision ends months of protests against the scheme. Locals were worried it would raise energy bills and pose safety risks.In July, plans to test hydrogen in Whitby in Cheshire were scrapped due to local opposition.

Residents expressed concern that they could become unwitting “lab rats” of a technology which would never be adopted in the UK.

It is expected that the government will make a decision by 2026 about whether it wants to replace household gas with hydrogen as part of its net zero climate plan. The government will evaluate the evidence of an experimental program in Fife, Scotland and similar programs in Europe.

Experts, including those from the government’s infrastructure division, believe that heat pumps and electric heaters are more suitable for most homes, while heavy industries still utilize hydrogen.
The UK government officially backed plans on Wednesday to prohibit gas boilers and boilers “ready for hydrogen” in new homes built in England by 2025.

Claire Coutinho said, “Hydrogen is a huge economic opportunity for Britain, unlocking 12,000 jobs, and investing up to PS11bn by 2030.”

The government will fund 11 new projects to produce “green hydrogen” by using renewable electricity to split water molecules.Blue hydrogen is another type of hydrogen that can be produced by splitting water molecules with renewable electricity.

How to make grey, blue and GREEN hydrogen
Sofidel, a paper manufacturer in South Wales, will use hydrogen to replace half of its gas consumption at its Port Talbot mill. This project will benefit businesses in the region.InchDairnie Distillery, in Fife, will also use 100% hydrogen for its distilling process. PD Ports, in Teesside, will replace diesel with hydrogen.

Juliet Phillips is a senior adviser for the climate think-tank E3G. She said that the decision to cancel the Redcar hydrogen home trial was “another slap on the face of pipe dreams about hydrogen heating”.

Even though some gas-lobbyists suggested blending hydrogen with current gas supplies to lower emissions and continue providing gas for homes, she indicated that fossil heating systems were becoming obsolete.She said that it was time to prepare for an electric, clean future.
Government ministers and others believe “The last two years have shown why this is not a good plan.”
Northern Gas Networks had hoped to be the leader of the Redcar hydrogen-project, but the company said it was “disappointed”.

A spokesperson stated that the project could not be completed without adequate local hydrogen production. The company emphasized the importance of the government continuing to explore hydrogen potential through a separate project in Fife.