The home of the future will be heated by hydrogen. Aside from the global pandemic outbreak, the threat of a climate crisis became more apparent in the previous year. Weather conditions are experiencing drastic changes. Natural calamities are increasing in intensity and frequency.
Electric vehicles and solar panels continue to be the biggest fighters against the ongoing climate crisis. Yet, gas boilers remain to be the heart of your home’s central heating system. Buildings account for approximately a third of the United Kingdom’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Fossil Fuel Extinction
Choosing a greener source for heating homes is one of the key points in the U.K.’s plans to tackle the climate crisis. A significant percentage of the U.K.’s emissions is taken up by the use of fossil fuels for daily operations like heating and cooking
In an attempt to cut down on these figures, all new homes to be built after 2023 will rely on low-carbon heating systems instead of the typical gas boilers. Soon enough, you’ll be asking your trusted heating engineer to install a boiler powered by hydrogen to provide warmth for your home.
Arguments Against Hydrogen
Of course, not everyone is expected to be immediately on board with these proposals. Some people involved in the energy industry consider it a controversial alternative. They would rather put their support in electric heat pumps, which they believe to be safer and more efficient.
Another particular challenge against hydrogen is the cost. The technology involved is expected to be pricey, even though it’s yet to be tested commercially. With over 23 million properties connected to the gas network, it’s understandable why there would be apprehensions.
There are approximately 1.5 million gas boilers installed or replaced every year within the U.K. When the time comes for you to replace your old gas boiler, the government will incentivize you to transition to cleaner heating systems.
The Perfect Alternative
Nonetheless, you should put your faith in hydrogen. Switching to hydrogen will effectively help the UK meet its climate targets. Burning hydrogen is emissions-free. This means it doesn’t emit anything but steam, which makes it cleaner than fossil fuels.
Hydrogen is also expected to be adopted by many heavy industries. Steel and cement making are some of the essential prospects transitioning to hydrogen use. This will significantly help to decarbonize these industries to reach carbon neutrality.
Prices for the technology required for clean hydrogen production is also expected to take a plunge once it enters the mainstream. Aside from the U.K., Germany has also begun developing national strategies centered on hydrogen for their energy transitions.
Home of the Future
The first homes that will completely use hydrogen to run boilers and hobs are expected to be built sometime around April. According to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State for Energy, these two houses in Gateshead will offer a glimpse into the potential that low-carbon hydrogen homes possess.
The government will also help fund the construction of both of these homes. Aside from incentivizing cleaner homes, this initiative serves to accelerate the much-needed shift away from fossil fuels. It is all in line with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s goal of creating a “hydrogen town” by the end of the decade.
Instead of being connected to the local gas grid, which is still dominated by fossil fuels, the houses will be powered through regular hydrogen tanks. The first homes to run on green hydrogen through a local gas grid are expected to be built by the end of next year in Fife, Scotland.
For this particular trial project, around 300 homes will be equipped with free hydrogen boilers, heaters, and appliances. These homes will receive green hydrogen from the end of 2022 without additional charges.
The plan to significantly cut carbon emission in homes is driven by the U.K.’s aim to become a net-zero carbon nation by 2050. One of the most difficult areas to decarbonize is the heating sector because most of the U.K. relies heavily on gas networks.
The government must build sufficient trust around hydrogen as a viable alternative. They are also tasked to deliver safe and reliable low-carbon energy to virtually every consumer. This is why projects like the Gateshead houses and the gree hydrogen Fife community are essential.
The U.K. continues to drive forward in achieving a green industrial revolution. The climate crisis will continue to threaten everyone’s lives if no concrete actions are taken. In the end, you’ll also be tasked to do your part in addressing the climate crisis. When the time comes, make sure to choose the greener alternative for your home. Sometimes the smallest actions can lead up to the biggest differences.