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Podcast S03E03

Hydrogen: a silver bullet to decarbonise heat?

Hydrogen: a silver bullet to decarbonise heat?

Decarbonising heat is arguably the biggest challenge in decarbonising our energy system. Does hydrogen provide the answer? In this week’s episode Jon Slowe is joined by James Watson, Secretary General at Eurogas and Rob Bloom, Analyst at Delta-EE to explore the role that hydrogen might play, and what progress we’re seeing.

Episode transcript

James Watson, Eurogas

Rob Bloom, Analyst, Delta-EE

 

[00:00:04.560] – Jon Slowe

Welcome to Talking New Energy, a podcast from Delta-EE, the new energy experts. We will be talking about how the energy transition is developing across Europe with guests who are working at the leading edge of this transition.

[00:00:22.400] – Jon Slowe

Hello and welcome to the episode. Today we're looking at the future of gas in the energy system.

[00:00:28.760] – Jon Slowe

Over the past few decades natural gas has been regarded as a relatively clean fuel. In particular when compared to coal for example. But looking forwards if we're going to decarbonise our energy system in the next decades, then there really can't be an extensive and widespread role for natural gas because of its associated carbon emissions.

[00:00:51.020] – Jon Slowe

This is a challenge given today it's used extensively for heating across Europe and its significant role in power generation in some countries. But don't write off gas too quickly. Its flexibility is becoming increasingly valuable and decarbonised and renewable gases could well have an important and maybe extensive role in the future. Of these growing hope around hydrogen in particular. So, to discuss the role of natural gas in the future I'm joined today by James Watson Secretary-General of gas industry trade body Eurogas and Delta-EE expert Rob bloom.

Jon Slowe  - Hello James,

James Watson - Hello John,

Jon Slowe - Thanks for joining us and hello Rob as well.

Rob Bloom – Hi there,

[00:01:43.180] – Jon Slowe

So, James I'd like to start with a question for you. What's the mood like in the European gas industry today. You know gas industry has had a huge role, has a huge role in the energy sector today. The future as I said will need to look quite different. So, on one hand you could imagine there might be doom and gloom as the pressure builds on natural gas. But on the other hand, there may be lots of excitement about the opportunities or nervousness about the changes required. How would you characterise the mood today?

[00:02:19.550] - James Watson

Well I think if you look at the context of the gas market in Europe today you might imagine that we could possibly be feeling super happy and on top of the world.

[00:02:29.220] - James Watson

And I say that in reference to events I saw recently where Fatih Birol from the International Energy Agency was showing the predictions that his organization has had for gas growth through 2018 and meet its predictions back in about 2012. And they called it Golden Age of Gas, I'm sure you probably remember that Jon. This whole report that you know we are we are living in the Golden Age of Gas.

[00:02:56.130] - James Watson

Indeed, the predictions the International Energy Agency had were more or less lived, today.

[00:03:04.150] - James Watson

So yeah. You would think that probably we were having a party and enjoying good discos but it's not like that at all. That's a funny thing isn't it. If you think that you know we are living in what would be called the golden age of gas according to some analysts and predictors.

[00:03:17.770] - James Watson

No, I think what we find is that there is a kind of a shift in mentality. I mean the gas industry understands that we are doing very well today but the future is of course more or less unpredictable. We know that we are going to be in a situation in Europe where we have to achieve a carbon neutral economy by 2050. And what I have seen across our sector and recently all of our members clubbed together and agreed to support that objective understanding all of the challenges that that entails for our sector.

[00:03:48.690] - James Watson

As you pointed out in your introduction, we are still a CO2 emitter much less CO2 than traditional fossil fuels like oil, lignite and coal, diesel.

[00:04:00.390] - James Watson

Nevertheless we will have to reduce that carbon footprint to live in a carbon neutral economy in Europe and globally I mean gas is the fastest growing fuel globally and in other jurisdictions gas will be undoubtedly the only means that we can use to achieve the overall objectives of the Paris agreement limiting warming to two or one point five degrees centigrade. But in Europe we have a different challenge and it's a challenge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

[00:04:28.050] - James Watson

And so, I think if you look at it our members the gas industry is starting to invest and devise new plans new business models to bring forward new types of gas that we hope will be able to blend in as we go forward.

[00:04:41.160] – Jon Slowe

So, gents that's a heady mix of threat and opportunity there. Investors in start-up businesses in the venture capital and private equity sector will always say there's only two emotions that matter and that's a threat or fear and opportunity.

[00:04:59.040] – Jon Slowe

Is there more of one than the other or is that a bit unfair to ask you to characterise that?

James Watson - I don’t think it’s unfair at all Jon, I think it's a fair point.

[00:05:08.640] - James Watson

I mean there is of course the risk if you do nothing what will happen to your business, what will happen to your model. We know very well we've just had a new commission president put in place and she's promised to deliver a law by 2050 that we have carbon neutrality in Europe so they will become a law. Of course, we as the gas sector support that. And so therefore we have to see that as an opportunity not just think about a threat, we have to think about how actually you are not going to be able to electrify everything.

[00:05:38.490] - James Watson

That's very clear. There is no way that you can build enough renewable electricity to deal with peak energy demands in winter. And the European emissions cells are very clear that they want gas, they need gas they're still full. So, I just say they're still forecasting a market of gaseous fuels in 2050 which is only about a third less than it is today.

[00:05:58.530] – Jon Slowe

So, a big role for gas. You've talked about the need to change and to have whether it's new business models, new technology, different approaches.

[00:06:06.970] – Jon Slowe

How well laid out or how clear do you think the industry is or are we still at the relatively early stages of exploring those and trying to define those?

[00:06:19.830] - James Watson

Well I think that the right way of looking at this is that we are at the beginning of that story. We are at the moment looking at how we can increase the amount of biogas, biomethane that is available because if you think of biomethane is a good product that you can directly inject into the grid with no need for any change of infrastructure whatsoever. And so, I think we are very much at the at the start of that story. And if I might just throw a statistic you know Jon the market that we have in gas today is 95 % natural gas and 5% biogas.

[00:06:53.860] - James Watson

Do you think about electricity, you around about 50% still fossil fuel and about 18% that's variable renewables. Those 18% of more or less grown in the last 15 years. So, our story is perhaps if you argued behind the electricity story but then we haven't necessarily seen the same kind of incentives and programs put in place for gas as we have for electricity.

[00:07:18.280] - James Watson

So, my view is we're at the beginning of the story and we hope over the next 30 years that we will actually go through our own transition and increase the amounts and volumes that we have of the renewable gases.

[00:07:29.380]

Okay. Well let's look then at those low carbon and renewable gases and break it down a bit for the benefit of our listeners. So, when it comes to low carbon and renewable decarbonise gases, we could break it down in two ways. What the source of the energy is and whether that gas is either partially or fully decarbonise. So, Rob I'll ask you in a minute about hydrogen. But James can you firstly just walk us through biogas and biomethane in relation to these points.

[00:08:05.970] - James Watson

Yes, well I think the way that we see it is very much in line with the recently, the recently enacted Renewable Energy Directive which came out of the clean energy package and there are clear definitions of biomethane and biogas. And basically, they're considered renewable to the extent that the feedstock that is used to produce it is considered sustainable. And the overall process allows for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the way that we see this is that you therefore focus much more on the second-generation types of biomethane and biogas production.

[00:08:39.610] - James Watson

So, this is wastes there are extensive lists of all different types of waste feedstocks you can have these vary from sewage and wastewater through to manure through to agricultural waste by-products. And so that ultimately what you're using is there is a second-generation approach to deliver biogas and biomethane that you want. I think that you have to consider renewable the gas has to have certain requirements around its sustainability of the feedstock. And so, it is important for us that we aren't talking about growing food crops to be puts directly in generate digesters because we are very aware of what happened on biofuel debate and you get trapped in a food versus fuel discussion politically which helps no one.

 

[00:09:27.970] - James Watson

And then even starts you know driving some public perception against the idea of doing this. And in fact, we really need to do this, so we really have to work on the basis of what I call second generation. So that's wastes eventually.

[00:09:40.750] – Jon Slowe

Okay. And then once you've got that biogas you could either blend that into the network and blend it with natural gas or upgrade it to biomethane if I understand correctly?

[00:09:54.960] - James Watson

Well yes. So that's how we would see it. So that the biogas production at the moment contains impurities, so a lot of the volume is actually used to produce electricity. So, you really just burn biogas relatively easily and inject that into the electricity grid. But the real premium and we're you know about 2 billion cubic meters today, production Europe is biomethane we have to upgrade it, burn the impurities off and then you inject it into the gas grid and then it can be used for whatever purpose heating industrial use even of course gas houses have electricity.

[00:10:31.270] - James Watson

But in principle that's the way that we're looking at how you increase the amounts of by methane.

[00:10:41.050] – Jon Slowe

Okay and how much waste resource is there, out there in your view? Presumably, not enough to replace substitute natural gas with biogas from waste across the whole of Europe. But can you give us a feel for the level of bio resource or waste, bio waste that you think is out there.

[00:11:00.530] - James Watson

It's the sort of million-dollar question isn't Jon! Actually, the multi-billion-dollar question John. I think there are very many different studies with different views on this. And the reality is of course we will have to see how those, basically how those feedstocks develop and that the finance that is associated with them and what the costs are. There is a study by Navigant which suggests something around 200 plus billion cubic meters. Another was done earlier; I think by the same organisation which suggests around 100 in your Eurogas we are conducting our own study and we will have to see what we come up to do later this year.

[00:11:40.050] - James Watson

But my view would be that you're definitely not going to be filling the current 450 plus billion cubic meter. Yeah, BCM cubic meter gas market with biogas and biomethane alone in the coming thirty years. It will play a part of the solution Jon. It's not the only the vector that we need. And I think Rob's going to say a bit more about other vectors.

[00:12:04.530] – Jon Slowe

OK well nice Segway onto Rob. So, with hydrogen Rob there's a lot of hope and dare I say it a bit of hype around hydrogen at the moment. It's not a source of energy as James just said it’s a energy vector. So, can you help us understand the different ways we could produce hydrogen and how to break hydrogen down a bit.

[00:12:29.990] – Rob Bloom

Yeah, of course. And an important thing to say is in a similar manner to biogas or biomethane it really depends on where your hydrogen comes from. You can broadly split down the production of hydrogen into two main methods of production. There is electrolysis which essentially uses electricity as an input and split water into constituents of hydrogen which obviously we want and an oxygen by-product which can still be sold on. The alternative to this is using an industrial process called steam methane reforming. This is quite a, well it's a very CO2 intensive process that basically combines steam and methane to produce hydrogen and CO2.

[00:13:14.090] – Rob Bloom

So, talking about Steam methane reforming this is called the grey hydrogen so it's hydrogen. The vast majority the hydrogen produced today is produced by grey processes.

Jon Slowe- Okay

Rob Bloom - So very carbon intensive and typically goes into industrial processes like fertilizer production for instance.

[00:13:36.600] – Jon Slowe

Okay. So grey is then one variety of hydrogen. What else what other colours do we have?

[00:13:43.220] – Rob Bloom

So, going through the hydrogen rainbow if you like Jon from grey if we want to make that low carbon but still use kind of centralised industrial process. We need to use what's called carbon capture and storage. This is basically capturing the carbon emissions that would be emitted from grey hydrogen and storing them underground typically offshore. And this basically gives you one means of producing low carbon hydrogen but importantly not zero carbon hydrogen because the capture processes are not 100% efficient.

[00:14:17.660] – Jon Slowe

Okay. And what colour do we call that?

[00:14:20.570] – Rob Bloom

So that would be termed blue hydrogen. So grey hydrogen very, very carbon intensive industrial process, blue hydrogen low carbon intensity but still industrial, still centralised.

[00:14:34.000] – Jon Slowe

Yeah. Now moving on to electrolysis because that's using electricity which could come from different sources to produce hydrogen.

[00:14:41.960] – Rob Bloom

Exactly. Exactly. So, there are two. There are two colours of kind of electrolyte that produced hydrogen. You've got brown which uses grid electricity so that can use whatever the constituent electricity in the grid. So, in the UK that might have gas-based electricity, in Germany it might have coal-based electricity mixed with renewables. So generally, would be considered a higher carbon hydrogen. Counteractive to that is a green hydrogen which is where you’re fuelling your electrolyser with dedicated renewable electricity and that's where you can really achieve this zero-carbon hydrogen that will be so important in the future.

[00:15:26.150] – Jon Slowe

Okay. So today we're largely grey hydrogen using steam reforming natural gas if we have CCS we turn it into blue hydrogen if we have electrolysis with the grid mix today that's brown and that could have varying degrees of carbon emissions. And if we use electrolysis that is from 100% renewable sources then we have green which is where we'd love to get to I guess.

[00:15:51.740] – Rob Bloom

Exactly.

[00:15:52.400] – Rob Bloom

You couldn't have explained it better Jon, that’s perfect.

Jon Slowe - So, in terms of where we're at with decarbonise gases, James you sort of set the context at the beginning that we're at the beginning not right at the very beginning but very early on in the transition from natural gas to lower carbon gases. I'd like now to, sort of understand a bit more about the types of projects, studies, drill down into that journey towards lower carbon gases a bit. Rob can you give us a feel for hydrogen and where are we at in terms of theoretical studies, technical trials, pilots, big demonstrations in using hydrogen for example to decarbonise heat.

[00:16:48.080] – Rob Bloom

Yeah of course. And yeah that's a really good starting point. And the truth is there's a real variety of kind of projects that are currently active in decarbonising heating with specifically with hydrogen. These range from desk-based feasibility studies that are looking at theoretically if you were to convert a relatively large metropolitan area to using 100% hydrogen. How would you go about doing it? What are the actual practicalities involved in that?

[00:17:19.790] – Jon Slowe

Okay. So that's basically pushing hydrogen through the pipes that today carry natural gas,

Rob Bloom - Exactly

Jon Slowe - [Illegible] running on hydrogen yes.

[00:17:28.420] – Rob Bloom

Yes, so that the famous kind of report that kicked a lot of this discussion off was the H21 project based in Leeds in the UK. And this basically had a look taking lessons from the kind of town gas conversion in the UK. Well we moved from basically a gasified coal to natural gas to produce heat. What lessons were learned from that and what we can take on converting natural gas networks into hydrogen networks.

[00:17:56.700] – Jon Slowe

Okay. So, on that basis we've converted a gas network before. Can we do it again.

[00:18:01.150] – Rob Bloom

Exactly. Exactly spot on. So, there are a few projects like that looking at feasibility studies. A really interesting one again in the UK is high net which is looking at decarbonising a current steam methane reformer and using that hydrogen to decarbonise an industrial hub and then spread out into domestic heat. So, industry is very difficult to decarbonise, and hydrogen could be a really good solution for that blue hydrogen specifically. And that kind of gives you sort of industrial hub to then expand out into the domestic market.

[00:18:38.170] – Jon Slowe

  1. James how about your view of hydrogen in terms of any particular example projects or perspective you'd like to draw out.

[00:18:48.100] - James Watson

I think that Rob mentions of course probably one of the most important in Europe that we see today and that's the H21 project looking up at Leeds. Basically, how you change a city of a million people from natural gas back to hydrogen. I would agree with the point that Rob made it's kind of like going back to the future. And so, I always tell people if we came from a situation where we had a town gas we should be able to relatively easily go back to being able to change the grids and the infrastructure to deal with that.

[00:19:18.250] - James Watson

So H21 is a very important project because in the next ten, ten years or so it should be able to demonstrate the possibility of using hydrogen once again in the grids to deliver heat, to deliver energy for industry. So we definitely see that as one of the important flagship projects because in a way it's a very very large demonstration project and therefore the whole kind of feasibility is as important to show and therefore needs to deliver. I think the other point about town gas is that as a European wide phenomenon spoke to a number of the companies that make up our association and you find that kind of history also in Germany you have things like Stadtgas is the same,

[00:19:58.360] - James Watson

Same basis, so indeed a lot of the infrastructure in Europe would be ready to handle volumes of up to 50% hydrogen. So, from this point of view I think that we are very keen to see projects develop and not just on sort of blue hydrogen side. In Germany we are also seeing a lot of companies considering how to invest more in, to power gas, into electrolysers and you have to think this is a European technology. So maybe we have the lead and at the moments I was fortunate enough to visit ITN power just outside Sheffield who are moving to the largest electrolyser manufacturing plants in the world in the coming year and it's great to see this technology being developed in Europe and also deployed in Europe you know in Germany they have the big issue of trying to get all that wonderful wind energy in the north down to the south.

 

[00:20:48.100] - James Watson

Nobody wants to build high voltage frequency transmission lines in the electricity side past all these villages. It's not just Bavaria you go past …{illegible} to Niedersachsen and nobody wants it. And in fact, many of the companies now thinking if they can convert that into hydrogen using electrolysis they could actually ship it through existing gas infrastructure for use by the industries in the south that would overcome the problems. There are examples of things like store and go it's a project that is run by companies in Germany and they're basically doing that they're assessing the technology potential of converting electricity renewable electricity into hydrogen.

[00:21:25.840] - James Watson

And so, I think there are a number of projects on the go. When I was at ITM they were developing a very large electrolyser for renewable electricity to produce hydrogen for use in buses in the town of Pau in France for their fleet. So, I think that we are seeing a number of these projects being developed and numbers are growing. I think we're up to something like 600 megawatts of electrolyser deployments in Germany and so I'm going back to my earlier points at the beginning of the story but as you said quite rightly Jon it's not nothing has been done.

[00:21:57.850] - James Watson

All of these technologies are in existence and are being deployed. And so, I think we also have to recall that.

[00:22:03.720] – Jon Slow

Okay

Rob Bloom – I think that’s a really

Jon Slowe – Sorry go on Rob

Rob Bloom – I was going to say I think that you've made some really important points there James and I think the kind of use of hydrogen is, is very or the intended use of hydrogen could be very regional even within Europe. So, like you mentioned James Power to Gas and basically using electricity constrained renewables that would produce electricity that is otherwise difficult to deal with changing that into hydrogen and putting that into a local gas grid. There's a project up in Schleswig-Holstein that's been doing this since the mid-2018 and essentially using constrained electricity and putting that into the gas grid from what we've heard Germany seems to be going down, seems to be a much stronger advocate of using electrolysis based hydrogen production for constrained renewables whereas if you shift perhaps more towards the UK and I’m trying not to be too UK focused there's a much stronger focus on dedicated hydrogen production for heating so that there are different ways of going about it really and I think that's important to emphasise.

[00:23:14.600] - Rob Bloom

You know we see a huge range of different projects in fact that moving on from that kind of power to gas argument. There's a really interesting project at the moment running in Sweden called RE 8760.

Jon Slowe - That's a very catchy name Rob!

Rob Bloom - I know it's not you’re right. But the project is incredibly interesting. Basically it's a, it's a means to project leaders have tried to get a total of six housing blocks, 172 flats completely off grid electricity and grid heating and how they've done this is by having a large solar park so solar PV using batteries to store that energy so that you store the energy during the day and release it from the batteries during the night when demand is high but they're also using inter-seasonal demand matching.

[00:24:12.580] - Rob Bloom

So, they use the electricity from those solar panels store it as hydrogen and then use a fuel cell micro CHP unit. So that's a, it's basically the reverse of an electrolyser it takes in hydrogen and produces electricity and water by-product. You can also harness heat from that, so it uses that hydrogen that is stored up during the summer months and uses it to produce both heat and electricity in the winter months. So, you have a really interesting kind of way of using hydrogen.

[00:24:43.520] – Jon Slowe

And I think that brings out one of the areas that we see a lot more focus research analysis on.

[00:24:51.220] – Jon Slowe

But what you described in that system Rob, you've got the benefits of that huge flexibility that hydrogen brings and that versatility, but you've also got inefficiencies from the conversions of storage and then turning it back into heat and electricity. So, I imagine we'll learn a lot more about these trade-offs or the values of flexibility in comparison to generating electricity and storing it to the battery for short term storage for example. I think it's going to be a fascinating area.

[00:25:28.060] - Rob Bloom

Undoubtedly Jon. Undoubtedly.

Jon Slowe - Now as always time is getting the better of us. So, I'd like to start looking forward now. But before I bring out the talking in new energy crystal ball what's going to drive this market? So renewable, James you mentioned at the beginning the transition that electricity is made over the last decade. So, the transition it's making and that's being driven by some very clear incentive programs maybe some subsidy programs. You're able to use market-based mechanisms to make that shift. Are we going to see the same market based mechanisms to decarbonise gas?

[00:26:13.510] - Jon Slowe

Do you think James or will we see more regulatory intervention, do you think?

[00:26:19.810] – James Watson

I especially need a bit of both actually Jon. I think this is really the way that we would see things in Eurogas. If you look at what's been done on the electricity side. That's a great solar from nothing to so 4/5% of the electricity mix there's been a fair deal of intervention if you like. And the real the real point of that is that the European level Renewable Energy Directive is set up that target of 20 percent of energy to be from renewable sources by 2020.

[00:26:51.270] – James Watson

And the governments of Europe clubbed together and acted on their own and came up with their own ideas of how they would best achieve those objectives. And generally, many of the countries use feed in tariffs not always with the best outcome. I don't mean that deployment was somehow slowed.

[00:27:08.970]  – James Watson

It's just that often those programs of incentives had to be closed early because they were massively oversubscribed. So, the way we look at things is that we probably need that mix. So we're totally in favour of setting targets for renewable gas, penetration into the natural gas segments but we also believe that we should look at the development of things like guarantees of origin i.e. certificates that prove that you get for every you say megawatts or megawatt hour you produce a renewable gas you receive a certificate for it which you could also use to encourage people to buy that gas which in itself could also turn into a market and be traded and therefore encourage investments in its own rights.

[00:27:52.410] – James Watson

I think we have to look at both measures. I would say that probably wouldn't preclude any form though in principle we'd probably prefer the idea of auctions or tenders if you prefer because these tenders, they provide a certain degree of public incentive but also put pressure on the companies that take parts to reduce costs, which is what we need as you bring this sort of market element into it. There's competitiveness and in a sense a carrot and stick kind of approach through a through tender. And I think that's probably the right way to go.

[00:28:23.670] – James Watson

I think we leave it to the markets, to do everything on its own without putting these kind of incentives in place.

[00:28:29.430] – James Watson

It would take quite a long time to drive those things forward because you're talking about biomethane today being four times the cost of natural gas so needs to do it to drive change because the market on its own will always favour the cheapest and in electricity or gas it's always the fossil fuel that's the cheapest that's just how it is.

[00:28:48.670] – Jon Slowe

Okay. So we need to intervene with the right kind of mechanisms and market mechanisms could work in this case.

[00:28:57.770] – Jon Slowe

Rob

James Watson – There is practical example of how this is working and France set a target of 10% of all of its gas to be renewable by 2030. And what we've actually seen is that since that came in you're seeing a doubling of the amount of bio methane plants every year. So, these came in in 2015 and in 2016 the number of plants from 17 to 26 in 2017 they were 44 in 2018 76, so you are almost doubling year on year because the target was put in place.

[00:29:32.250] - James Watson

So, I just wanted to say this wasn’t some sort of up in the fantasy notion, we've looked at it, we've seen how it's worked in France and it seems to be a good way of actually driving the change that we need.

[00:29:43.340] – Jon Slowe

Okay. Rob I was going to ask you in terms of the switching part of the network over to, from natural gas to hydrogen and that's, that probably will be a policy decision that can't be left, or it’s much harder to leave that to the market. Which countries you mentioned UK. Is there anywhere else Rob you look in terms of switching a network wholly over to hydrogen for early activity earlier?

[00:30:10.140] – Rob Bloom

Definitely, I think other than the UK, which has had quite a lot of government backing or government interest the Netherlands is also very very hot in this area. They're looking at a range of solutions and to be honest in the Netherlands there are probably more projects where you’ve already got small networks of 100% hydrogen already heating homes. They tend to be very isolated typically serving a couple of apartment blocks but that's already going ahead which is probably a little bit of an advance of what the U.K. is doing. So, if I was going to highlight two major markets, I would say the U.K. and the Netherlands are probably leading.

[00:30:49.440] – Rob Bloom

But as James said earlier you know Germany shouldn't be neglected but they're coming at it from a slightly different viewpoint I think.

[00:30:56.070] – Jon Slowe

Okay. Well let's now bring out the talking new energy crystal ball and wrap up by looking forward to 2030. And I'd like to ask each of you briefly to say one or two key things you think will have seen happen in this area by 2030.

[00:31:16.710] – Jon Slowe

James, do you want to go first.

James Watson - I think what we’ll definitely see by 2030 is an increasing volume of renewable gases. I think this is almost an inevitability in Eurogas. We're hoping that there will be EU targets for renewable gases put in place. We would also like to see a target for what we call decarbonise gas which is essentially a very hydrogen.

[00:31:37.930] - James Watson

Hydrogen being produced primarily from CCS carbon capture and storage.

[00:31:43.230] - James Watson

But in the field I guess that what we would also like to see is that the projects that we've mentioned today that these are moving beyond sort of demonstration and we are able to see more and more commercialised projects being deployed. And that really does depend on getting the frameworks right. But we believe that you will not be able to reach the objectives of 2050 let alone by 2030 if you don't put the right regulatory framework in place. And so we really believe in things like guarantees of origin for renewable gas and targets will be the cornerstones of this change.

[00:32:17.760] – Jon Slowe

And thanks James and Rob how about you buy it by 2030. It's one or two things you’d highlight.

[00:32:23.590] – Rob Bloom

I'm going to be, I'm going to be quite ambitious here. But I think what I'd love to have seen by 2030 is at least one large scale project to produce kind of industrial volumes of hydrogen. Whether that be a dedicated offshore wind farm for producing hydrogen for instance, produced green hydrogen or a large-scale blue hydrogen industrial site. I think once we see hydrogen being generated at scale it's just a matter of time before it starts to sort of trickle down into domestic heating, into transport which is something we haven't been able to touch on in the session.

[00:33:04.420] – Rob Bloom

But is a really interesting sector. So yeah that's what I would like to see hydrogen being produced at scale in the domestic sector in terms of heating. I think what it’s not too ambitious to say, I think we'll see small gas networks serving you know the high hundreds low thousands of homes with 100% hydrogen.

[00:33:25.900] – Rob Bloom

I think that will definitely be a possibility, perhaps in the UK or Netherlands. So those are my two hot takes, I guess.

Jon Slowe - Okay well we'll bring you both back at 2030 and see if your predictions or outlook is correct. As you've both mentioned there's lots of other issues, topics in this area of hydrogen and low carbon gases and we'll come back to them in the future podcasts.

[00:33:52.230] - Jon Slowe

James and Rob thank you both very much for helping us navigate and understand this really important part of the energy system. So, thanks to each of you.

James Watson - Thank you Jon

Rob Bloom - No worries it's a pleasure.

Jon Slowe - And as always thank you to our listeners. We hope you've enjoyed the episode and found it useful and look forward to welcoming you back next week. Thank you very much and goodbye.

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