Councillors and officers of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) English Forum held their autumn seminar last Friday in Hull Guildhall and were provided with expert overviews highlighting the huge potential of hydrogen green gas in the domestic supply networks, as well as the continued growth of local authority decentralised energy schemes. (1)
A particular focus of attendees came from a presentation by Dan Sadler of the ‘H21’ project by Northern Gas Networks.
In the presentation Dan Sadler outlined that, while it remains imperative to develop renewable forms of electricity and transport, a core part of rapid and radical change needs to consider how to develop renewable forms of heating, with existing heat consumption a major part of current UK carbon emissions.
The ‘H21’ project has been developed by Northern Gas Networks to look at ways to change the gas networks from fossil fuel natural gas to renewable hydrogen gas alternatives. A demonstration project is currently taking place in Leeds, a NFLA member authority, to assess its viability. Both the UK Government’s Clean Growth Plan and the independent Climate Change Committee have noted how important the ‘H21’ project could be in the challenge to radically decarbonise heating over the next 2 decades. (2)
NFLA members were impressed with the presentation and are broadly supportive of taking such initiatives forward. There was particular interest in the amount of carbon it could take out of the equation if such networks are developed in the essential moves for rapid decarbonisation by 2030.
Members were also interested to hear about the work of the UK’s first local authority owned energy company since 1948, Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy, and particularly how it is supporting a number of other Councils in delivering ‘white label’ models such as White Rose Energy to assist Councils in promoting local interest supporting renewable, decentralised energy schemes aimed at reducing fuel poverty. (3)
Members further heard of Hull City Council’s leading role in developing renewable energy infrastructure and support as the development of the largest offshore wind farm in the world is built off the East Yorkshire coast. And members heard of the preparations and NFLA’s real reservations on the process of the UK and Welsh Governments to seek support for delivering a deep underground radioactive waste repository.
A core role of NFLA is to provide Councils with information to develop innovative decentralised schemes that promote renewable electricity, heating and transport as well as challenge nuclear policy development in the UK. The seminar proved invaluable as part of such activity.
NFLA Steering Committee Vice-Chair, Councillor David Blackburn said:
“The great potential of the Northern Gas Network’s ‘H21’ scheme excited all councillors and council officers who took part in the NFLA’s English Forum seminar. Hydrogen could potentially play a pivotal role in the rapid decarbonisation required over the next two decades, which would be highly beneficial given the huge challenge outlined in the most recent IPCC report. With further information on the development of local authority energy schemes and greater understanding of our role in the radioactive waste management debate, the seminar showed the quality and vitality of the NFLA organisation. I encourage our member authorities to find out more from these presentations placed on the NFLA website.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 0161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) The presentations are on the NFLA website – https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/presentations/nfla-english-forum-autumn-seminar/
(2) A video explaining the ‘H21’ project can be seen at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP2L7k9Z9Ys
(3) Robin Hood Energy – http://www.robinhoodenergy.co.uk