The study is being funded by gas network company SGN and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG). They are looking into creating a centre for hydrogen production and distribution on the south coast through carbon capture and hydrogen-based technologies.
Southampton emits around 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 from a combination of industrial activity and properties connected to SGN’s network for heat. A scheme incorporating carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technology could reduce these emissions and further decarbonisation could be achieved through localised hydrogen production.
Gus McIntosh, director of energy futures at SGN, said: “We’re at the forefront of hydrogen exploration and Southampton could easily become a world benchmark for decarbonising whole industrial areas. That would bring cleaner air, large numbers of jobs, and new economic opportunities in hydrogen production and export.”
Ed Northam, head of GIG Europe, said: “The UK has been a global leader in the deployment of new energy technologies, and is now pushing for a full economy transition backed by bold partnerships between the public and private sectors. We believe that we can play an important role in accelerating this transition by looking for new opportunities to support innovative emerging technologies like hydrogen.”
Ben Clarke, head of gas networks at WSP, said: “This study will help us understand the potential to decarbonise the Southampton Water industrial cluster through the use of hydrogen and carbon capture. The government has signalled their keenness for hydrogen and CCUS to be explored at pace and we’re delighted to be supporting SGN and GIG on this project.”
Last month SGN secured Ofgem funding to deliver H100 Fife, a hydrogen demonstration network in Levenmouth, Fife, that will bring carbon-free heating and cooking to around 300 homes from the end of 2022. [See our previous report here.]