16th October 2014
- UK gas networks carry over four times as much energy as electricity networks
- Gas networks have the potential to carry new gases including hydrogen and synthetic natural gas
- This new research project will provide a better understanding of the implications and challenges of infrastructure transitions
The Energy Technologies Institute (“ETI”) has awarded a major contract to DNV GL to project manage its Gas Vector Transition Pathways Development Project.
Between now and 2050, the energy systems of the UK and Europe are likely to be transformed as we move towards a low carbon future. Although the future is often seen as one of increased electrification, at present in the UK gas networks carry over four times as much energy as electricity networks.
Gas networks have the potential to carry a wide range of new gases including hydrogen and bio-SNG. Additionally, the flexibility of gas in its various forms, allows for the development of a wide range of production and delivery pathways, all of which could contribute to a low carbon energy system of the future. The starting point for this research is four independent future scenarios, as defined and modelled by the ETI. Each of these scenarios takes a view of the future and the contribution of existing and new gases including bio-synthetic natural gas (SNG), Hydrogen and Natural Gas. These scenarios impose differing but significant changes on energy infrastructure and the transmission and distribution of the gases.
The project will seek to provide a better understanding of the implications and the challenges that may arise as a result of these major infrastructure transitions. It will help to determine how affordable the transitions could be. Building on this, and identifying potential solutions to any engineering challenges and implementation costs, will provide further evidence to inform investment in different energy system transitions.
Susie Kistruck, Project Manager, Energy Storage & Distribution at the ETI who is leading the project said:
“We believe that a range of gases, namely bio-SNG, hydrogen and natural gas, have the potential to play an increasingly significant role in the delivery of energy. Gases such as bio-SNG and hydrogen, could feasibly lower overall effective CO2 emissions whilst continuing to ensure the secure supply of energy to a wide range of end-users. Our research has indicated that a broad range of gases could be flexible enough to be used for multiple purposes and this project aims to build a detailed understanding of the issues that will need to be addressed to make this a reality”
Len Eastell, Senior Consultant and Project Manager at DNV GL adds:
“The work to be undertaken will initially focus on the production and utilisation aspects of each of the scenarios to define the infrastructure requirements. We have assembled a team who are experts in the fields of Bio SNG, Natural Gas and Hydrogen to explore options at both the system level and detail level to work towards delivering an optimum cost effective pathway.”
The Scottish Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association, University College London and the European Gas Research Group have been chosen as subcontractors to assist in the project providing specialist expertise in hydrogen technologies, systems modelling, and the European outlook respectively.
Watch our Project Manager Susie Kistruck explaining the announcement please click here.