IGEM (Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers) President Sheila Lauchlan spoke to the Future of Gas conference in Malahide about the long-term possibilities for the UK gas grid
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“The industry believes that bioSNG could provide one-third of the heat demand by 2050 or provide fuel for all of the United Kingdom’s HGVs,” Lauchlan told the conference attendees.

“Blending small amounts of hydrogen with natural gas in the grid is expected to have few adverse effects that impact upon end users and could play a useful role in the electricity grid management. However, it only achieves very limited reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. There are more efficient uses of hydrogen from electrolysis in decarbonising sectors such as transport and that could also help to tackle air quality issues.

“Turning to 100% hydrogen would consist of repurposing a significant amount of the gas grid. It could be a practical route to deliver extensive decarbonisation of heat. It has never been tried before but industry, with government, is working towards reducing the uncertainty associated with this and making the case for a viable hydrogen network.

“What is common from the previous examples is that they all foresee the gas grid as being fit for purpose for transporting gases other than methane.”

The first female IGEM President outlined an alternative approach. “A hybrid gas/electrification option could be flexible enough to cope with seasonal heat and to reduce the burden on the electricity system. But work is still needed to bring these technologies to maturity. There is still uncertainty over the commercial viability of this option. Questions over the associated greenhouse gas savings remain unclear.”

“There are essentially two ways of looking at the problem. The first is using the gas grid as a transporter, moving from natural gas to low carbon gases such as biomethane, bioSNG, through blended hydrogen to 100% hydrogen. And these won’t involve or result in us moving away from methane towards low carbon alternatives. The second way is to integrate with the electricity network, continue with biomethane, biogases and renewable energy to lead to a decarbonised energy system by managing the demand using smart data.

“The industry has the capacity, the ingenuity and the desire to help the UK meet its climate change targets. As engineers it is within our culture to adopt a rigorous, practical approach based on empirical evidence in order to make our case.

“We know what is technically feasible but clearly government has a role to play.”

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/gas-grid.pnghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/gas-grid-300x300.pngJames HarringtonNewsbiofuel,gas,United Kingdom
“The industry believes that bioSNG could provide one-third of the heat demand by 2050 or provide fuel for all of the United Kingdom’s HGVs,' Lauchlan told the conference attendees. “Blending small amounts of hydrogen with natural gas in the grid is expected to have few adverse effects that impact upon...