National Grid is exploring the potential for a 1,243 mile hydrogen pipeline network to deliver hydrogen power to consumers by 2030. “We are in the middle of an unprecedented energy revolution that has no equal.”, said Antony Green, project director for hydrogen at National Grid.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. It is a major component of water and all living matter. Using electrical energy generated from a renewable source, such as solar, water can be ‘split’ to create molecular hydrogen. The energy present within the molecule can then be released by reacting with oxygen. Fuel cells achieve the process of converting the hydrogen into electricity.
Project Union is part of the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative which consists of 23 gas companies including National Grid. It visualizes 7,207 miles of hydrogen pipeline infrastructure by 2030 and 24,668 miles by 2040 with 70% of the pipelines to be converted from natural gas.
As the UK moves away from natural gas and toward hydrogen, the reduced greenhouse gas emissions would put them in a global leadership position and prompt many countries, including the US, to follow suit. Can hydrogen energy be a major component of a clean energy future? Only time will tell.
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