Hydrogen boilers and how they could heat our homes for many years.
The UK government has committed to achieving its carbon neutrality goals. Natural gas is a major contributor to carbon emissions. It will likely be replaced by low carbon alternatives such as hydrogen in the future.
Not yet, however, a 100% hydrogen boiler is available for purchase. Industry leaders such as Viessmann and Worcester Bosch continue to make substantial progress with their prototypes and testing.
Hydrogen ready boilers
Viessmann, Worcester Bosch have hydrogen-ready boilers which can take 20% hydrogen.
March 2021 Updates: The Energy Minister announced today that the first homes to be equipped with hydrogen boilers in the UK will be built in Gateshead (London), in April 2021.
National Grid Hydrogen Project Fife, Scotland will be the UK’s first location where hydrogen appliances are tested in over 300 homes. The appliances will then be fed directly from the grid with hydrogen gas.
Are gas boilers prohibited?
Your question will be answered in a short answer: “No, gas boilers won’t be banned.”
Although “gas boiler ban” has been used by the media to make headlines, they will soon be banned in all new properties beginning in 2025. This does not apply for existing housing stock.
If you buy a new gas boiler today, it can be used throughout its entire lifespan. 10 to 15 Years.
Gas boilers are going out of business soon. You can heat your home with a heat pump or a boiler that uses hydrogen gas, at least partially.
Transition to hydrogen gasses continues. It is therefore difficult to predict when 100% hydrogen boilers and hydrogen gas will become available.
However, it is clear that this transition will take place slowly over many years.
Good news: The prototypes of hydrogen-ready boilers have been developed by boiler manufacturers. They also stated that they plan to price them the same as gas boilers.
This is how hydrogen will change over the next decade.
Phase 1: A new generation of hydrogen-ready boilers
Manufacturers will offer new hydrogen-ready boilers that can take a variety gasses including hydrogen. These boilers can also be modified to accept 100% hydrogen. These boilers will be available from 2025.
These gas boilers are not to be confused with Worcester Bosch or Viessmann gas stoves. They can take a 20/80 mixture of hydrogen and hydrogen.
Phase 2: A new hydrogen-gas blend will be made from the existing gas network
There are several ongoing projects to test the viability of hydrogen gas being used in existing networks. At first, this will likely consist of a mixture between hydrogen and other gases.
All new boilers will be able to accept the 20% blend. After 2028, the new blend will be used on the existing grid.
Phase 3: All homes will be equipped with 100% hydrogen gas boilers
Every UK home should have a 100% hydrogen boiler capable of accepting pure hydrogen gas as its ultimate goal. It is unlikely that this will happen within the next few decades.
It is important to have an alternative to gas boilers.
The emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels such as natural gas can cause global warming.
These gases can’t escape from the atmosphere. Instead, they stay trapped and cause the earth to heat up.
Responding to the crisis in global climate, the UK government and major economies worldwide agreed to sign the Accord on Climate Change in Paris in 2016 to reduce global warming and make the UK carbon neutral by 2050.
One-third of the UK’s carbon emissions still come from traditional heating methods. The government has placed them at the heart of its low-carbon agenda. Change is inevitable.
To reach the targets, low carbon heating methods are crucial. These include technologies such as heat pump, solar, biomass, and the adoption hydrogen boilers.
Significant legislation has already been passed regarding residential boilers. They include a ban against non-condensing boilers as well as a ban for all new boilers with less than 90% efficiency.
However, the majority of UK homes still use gas boilers for their heating. Many people don’t believe that it is possible for them to be replaced with heat pumps or solar.
The best option is therefore to use hydrogen-ready boilers. These boilers can be used by engineers and existing infrastructure. They will remain competitive in price.
Why hydrogen boilers and not solar heat pump or heat pumps?
Low-carbon heat adoption is still difficult. The Environmental Audit Committee recently reported that the UK must continue to move at the same pace for more than 700 years.
According to the Committee on Climate Change, each UK home would have to be converted to a low-carbon heating system for an average cost of PS26,000.
These problems could be solved by hydrogen fuel. This fuel makes use of the existing gas infrastructure, which connects to 8 of 10 homes. Industry experts agree that it is easier to change the fuel than the heating system.
The hydrogen that is produced by burning it is vapor and not carbon dioxide. The EAC/CCC is currently studying the possibility of hydrogen being delivered to homes via the gas network.
What is a hydrogen boiler?
Viessmann and Worcester Bosch are currently working on hydrogen boilers. They can burn natural gas or hydrogen for their fuel.
Hydrogen boilers look almost the same as gas boilers, and are installed exactly the same way. They are connected to gas mains to allow hydrogen and natural gas to be supplied.