A trial carried out at Keele University has yielded positive results for the future of gas-supplied energy. Keele was chosen due to it having its own private gas system. The gas distribution firm Cadent, which is leading the project, says that if a 20% blend were to be rolled out across Britain, it would reduce emissions of CO2 by six million tonnes - equivalent to taking 2.5 million cars off the road.
Since about 85% of homes have gas central heating, and some experts believe it will prove more cost-effective to switch boilers to hydrogen, rather than to install heat pumps which would require the UK’s aging housing stock to be highly insulated.
Major drawbacks to hydrogen are cost and availability. The costs are much higher than for natural gas, although the differential will surely shrink as carbon taxes raise the price of burning gas to combat climate change over coming decades
Hydrogen fuel is unlikely to take off overnight in popularity, with many hurdles still required to be overcome. The evidence seen in practice at Keele University however, does show real promise.