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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_NGN_206
Title H21 - Alternative hydrogen production and Network storage technologies
Status Completed
Energy Categories Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 25%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen production) 50%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen transport and distribution) 25%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Cadent Gas
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 April 2017
End Date 01 February 2019
Duration 22 months
Total Grant Value £253,000
Industrial Sectors Technical Consultancy
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Cadent Gas (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (0.001%)
Web Site http://www.smarternetworks.org/project/NIA_NGN_206

The project scope has been developed to deliver the following objectives;

Hydrogen Production - Enhance the technical knowledge database for the utilisation of Auto Thermal Reformation as an alternative method to Steam Methane Reforming for hydrogen production, including an economic assessment of the relative Capex and Opex costs. This will address part of Work Package 16 in the H21 roadmap and inform the UK gas sector on the potential impacts of this technology on the gas distribution network future configuration, operations and regulatory implications.

Ammonia for Hydrogen Storage - Establish the technical and economic feasibility of utilising ammonia as a viable technology for the storage and transportation of hydrogen. This will address an element of Work Package 16 in the H21 roadmap. It is critical in understanding how intraday and inter-seasonal storage could be addressed in the UK distribution networks

CO2 Sequestration - Establish a technical and economic model for CO2 sequestration from hydrogen production utilising existing Statoil assets and infrastructure. This will address an element of Work Package 12 in the H21 roadmap. Understanding the economic and technical options for CO2 sequestration from hydrogen production is a critical component of the hydrogen supply chain and is imperative in demonstrating the overall viability of converting the UK gas grid to hydrogen. The H21 project assumes the development of associated CCS infrastructure to align with the anticipated H21 UK roll out programme. This project will provide a technical and economic model, based on hydrogen production base load to ascertain the economic viability of bespoke CCS infrastructure to support the hydrogen conversion programme. Furthermore it will consider the opportunities for the UK offshore asset redeployment to ensure minimal costs and therefore minimize the impact in UK gas customer’s bills.

Power Generation from Hydrogen - Provide a technical assessment of the feasibility and costs of converting existing CCGT power generation to hydrogen.  The retrofit of existing CCGT power generation plants and the potential for new power generation from hydrogen has the potential to substantially decarbonise the UK power generation sector.  Understanding the impact on future hydrogen demand and the impact on the future network configuration, network operations and hydrogen storage requirements is essential in modeling the hydrogen supply chain to ensure the optimum solutions are identified and adopted.

In considering the success of the project we would consider the following success criteria as a minimum output from the project;

  • Provide an assessment of the technical and economic opportunities for hydrogen production utilising Auto Thermal Reformation, ammonia storage and CCS deployment rates to allow an assessment of the relative merits of ATR vs.  SMR hydrogen production in the context of th e three identified scenarios
  • Provide an assessment of the technical and economic opportunities for hydrogen in ammonia transport and storage, to allow an assessment of the relative merits of hydrogen in ammonia vs.  salt cavity storage in the context of the three identified scenarios
  • Provide a technical assessment of the feasibility and costs of converting existing CCGT power generation to hydrogen.
  • Provide a feasibility report, including a high level economic assessment for CO2 storage options against the three identified scenarios utilising existing Statoilpipelines and storage infrastructure. Understand the technical impact of this system on the UK gas network including transmission and distribution networks
  • Provide critical rates of conversion data for 1, 10 and 50 ‘Leeds equivalents’ to inform the H21 - Strategic modelling - Major Urban Areas NIA which is due to be registered in April 2017.
Abstract The H21 - Leeds City Gate Project assessed the feasibility of converting a major citys gas network from natural gas to hydrogen. The project demonstrated the feasibility of the hydrogen conversion concept, developed detailed cost estimates for the conversion of the Leeds area and an estimate of the costs for an incremental roll out of hydrogen conversion nationwide. The H21 Leeds city gate project identified (Section 10) the next steps required to move this concept towards a policy decision through a series of strategic projects aimed at filling critical evidence gaps, this was referred to as the "H21 roadmap". To execute this H21 roadmap will require a combination of large scale NIC type projects, a government led program of research and a suite of smaller NIA projects. These projects will ensure the UK gas networks will understand the impact of hydrogen conversion in four key areas: Application and impact of new equipment within the network. This will ensure a future conversion to hydrogen comprises the optimised selection of assets utilising the best technologies from around the world in the interests of gas customers. Transportation of a different form of gas, i. e. 100% hydrogen on existing licensee assetsOperation of the network and its configuration when transporting 100% hydrogen. The commercial impact of a hydrogen conversion and the alterations required to current commercial practices across the gas industry e. g energy efficiency losses across hydrogen production assets, different leakage model impacts etc. This work will support the requirement for government to make firm energy policy decisions by the early 2020s. Without this suite of projects the opportunity for 100% hydrogen to play a significant role in future decarbonisation pathways may not be realistically considered. This could have a significant impact on UK gas customers if alternative non-optimized policy decisions are subsequently put into force. This NIA project will focus on section 12, 16 and 14. 3 of the H21 roadmap. The H21 project was predicted on a hydrogen supply chain consisting of hydrogen production utilising SMR (steam methane reformation) technology, intraday and inter-seasonal storage utilising salt cavity storage facilities and CO2 sequestration through pre-established CCS (carbon capture & storage) infrastructure. However, through extensive stakeholder engagement since release of the H21 project report, it is clear that the upstream hydrogen generation (including CCS) and downstream storage options could be provided by alternative solutions and be further optimised. This could lead to significant savings for gas customers as well as the option for accelerated conversion of the UK below seven bar gas networks should conversion take place. Understanding the technical and economic differences on the UK gas networks assets, and the customer bill impact of such an alternative system is essential to the long term strategy of the UK gas industry andUK government policy. Additionally Work package 14. 3 requires investigation into the feasibility of hydrogen power generation. Understanding the potential for power generation from either new build or converted CCGTs and the associated costs and viability are critical to understanding the size and compression requirements associated with the new hydrogen transmission system. Conversion of large end users, such as power stations, could have a significant impact on storage and production requirements and therefore need to be accurately modeled and understood to develop a holistic view of the UK gas network impact both technically and commercially. The Three fundamental components of the hydrogen supply system are;Hydrogen productionHydrogen storageCO2 sequestrationIn the H21 roadmap package 12 and 16 identifies the need to fully assess the different options for UK wide deployment, including hydrogen network storage requirements, alternative hydrogen production technologies and CO2 sequestration options. All these elements have the potential to impact across the UK gas transmission and distribution systems and its operations which grow in scale with an incremental UK roll out of a hydrogen conversion. It is critical that impacts of alternative hydrogen production system methodologies be understood and realistically modeled and assessed against their respective impact on the UK gas industries system and assets. Statoil, in collaboration with Northern Gas Networks has committed to undertake a study to assess the feasibility of alternative hydrogen supply chain technologies. The study will assess the technical feasibility, commercial impacts and scalability in respect of a UK wide deployment of the following technologies;Hydrogen production utilising Auto Thermal Reforming (ATR) technology as an alternative to Steam Methane Reforming (SMR)Hydrogen Storage in Ammonia for intraday and inter-seasonal storage capacity as an alternative to salt cavity storageCO2 sequestration utilising existing Statoil assets and infrastructureConversion of existing CCGT power generation to operate on hydrogenStatoil has committed to fund the research work required to deliver this project (circa. 600k - 800k), however they will need support from the UK gas network operators to understand the operations of distribution networks, impacts of different hydrogen supply chain technologies on network operations and provide network modelling and analysis to support the feasibility study. This NIA project will provide the UK gas distribution network operator support required to deliver the project. In collaboration between NGN and Statoil this project has been developed to address the problem and enhance the UK gas industries understanding of the opportunities, technical considerations and economics associated with alternative technologies for UK hydrogen conversion. Statoil will lead the project which has a total cost of 1m, the UK gas industry involvement of240K is toprovide input and assessment of the different options developed and their specific impact on the UK gas system as well as disseminating the knowledge across the industry and to local and national stakeholders. The study will consider three scenarios which will be used for system design purposes these include. Scenario 1: 1 x Leeds approximately 1 GW hydrogen (average annual production 678MW) and 1. 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year developed in 2025. Scenario 2: 10 x Leeds approximately 10 GW hydrogen and 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year developed between 2025-2035 $#64; 1 GW additional hydrogen production generation per annum and 1. 5 million tonnes additional CO2 sequestration requirements per year. Scenario 3: 50 x Leeds approximately 50 GW hydrogen and 75 million tonnes CO2 per year developed between 2025-2045 $#64; 2. 5 GW additional hydrogen production generation per annum and 3. 75 million tonnes of additional CO2 sequestration per year. Based on this work it would be possible to determine optimum development, i. e. how many GW of low carbon hydrogen capacity to be installed per year, the associated investment and decision points and the development requirements and impact on the existing UK gas system (transmission and distribution). For each scenario the following assessments will be undertaken. 1. Ammonia Storage: Alternative methods of intraday and inter-seasonal storage in both the upstream and downstream UK gas network using ammonia. 2. H2 production technologies: Whole life impact of ATR (Autothermal Reforming) for hydrogen production Vs SMR as per the original H21 study. 3. CO2 Storage Capacity: Long term and large scale potential of CO2 storage capacity, i. e. how can UK and Norwegian CO2 transport and storage infrastructure be developed for accommodating linear bulk scaling amounts of CO2, e. g. for 50 Leeds this would be circa 75 million tonnes/year. This assessment will also consider long term storage reserves for CCS in the North Sea considering key geological formations. . 4. Rate of hydrogen deployment (UK & Norwegian based): Development of UK based low carbon hydrogen production and potential synergies with Norwegian based production. Schedule, cost, experience in developing mega scale projects and execution risk will be addressed. The project delivery will be split into four phases. Phase 1: Technical system assessment and development of the concept for 1, 10 and 50 Leeds Equivalents. Including rate of production and storage (ammonia) deployment. Phase 2: UK gas network impact consideration for storage locations, scaling production and conversion/ HTS requirementPhase 3: Impact of large user power generation. Phase 4: Final report and knowledge dissemination.Note : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 20/08/18