Hydrogen can be used in the place of natural gas for heating and cooking in our homes and businesses as it can create energy in the same way, but it does not produce carbon dioxide, making it a more environmentally friendly source of energy.
Prior to the switch to natural gas in the 1960s and 70s, the UK used Towns Gas which comprised up to 50% hydrogen. The village of Winlaton, near Gateshead, recently used a blend of up to 20% hydrogen in its natural gas supply and a community in Scotland will use 100% hydrogen from 2024. Whilst hydrogen is not new to the UK’s gas network, the Redcar Hydrogen Community would be amongst the first to use 100% hydrogen.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe but is rarely found independently so it has to be produced. Water is made up of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen H2O).
Hydrogen can be produced in a multitude of ways and there is currently innovation taking place to find even more ways of producing hydrogen. The main ways in which hydrogen is currently produced are: