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Centrica Sets Out To Develop A “UK Hydrogen Economy”

Energy giant Centrica and Ryze Hydrogen will jointly build and operate hydrogen production facilities aimed at providing a reliable supply of hydrogen for industry and transportation, the companies told City A.M. this morning.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed and will combine expertise in order to kickstart the development of a so-called “UK hydrogen economy”, targeting the mobility, industrial and commercial markets, the companies said.

Under the agreement the firms will jointly develop hydrogen production projects on existing Centrica sites and work with third-parties to build production on their sites too.

Path towards net zero

In addition, the partnership will explore how the UK can work with international hydrogen production facilities to move low-cost renewable power converted to hydrogen and hydrogen derivates to areas of high demand.

William Mezzullo, Centrica’s Head of Hydrogen, explained that “low carbon hydrogen will play a major role in decarbonising our energy systems. It enables the increased use of renewable and low carbon electricity by offering the potential for storage in quantities that provide long term resilience and another choice for decarbonising hard to electrify sectors.”

“We should be bold in our thinking, the UK should aim to be a net exporter of hydrogen, providing high quality green jobs, additional revenues for the UK treasury and a lower cost of transitioning to Net Zero for homeowners and businesses.”

William Mezzullo, Centrica’s Head of Hydrogen

Jo Bamford, green entrepreneur and Executive Chairman of Ryze, said in addition that “it is clear from our conversations with Centrica that it is committed to making hydrogen a valuable component of its net-zero strategy.”

He stressed that the projects the companies have discussed in recent weeks will be “game-changing for the green hydrogen economy” and will underline “why hydrogen is such an important resource for the UK and the rest of the world in the fight against climate change.”

Among the initial projects under consideration, Centrica and Ryze will examine solutions for converting some of the British Gas fleet to hydrogen, including refuelling infrastructure, locations and van technology.

In addition, Bamford said Centrica Business Solutions will work with Ryze to offer hydrogen as an alternative fuel for customers wishing to decarbonise on-site generation. 

Centrica recently announced plans to inject hydrogen into a gas peaking plant at Brigg, Lincolnshire in a trial aimed at better understanding the role of hydrogen in power production.


The company stressed it “has a long-term aim” to turn the Rough gas field into the largest long duration energy storage facility in Europe, capable of storing both natural gas and hydrogen.

By CityAM

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  • Bill Tomlinson on December 07 2022 said:
    Mezzullo said
    "[we will] offer the potential for storage [of hydrogen] in quantities that provide long term resilience".

    Exactly HOW is this to be done?

    All of these hydrogen stories are very coy on this vital point.

    A story in the media earlier this week stated that Rolls-Royce has started an experimental project to convert their jet engines to burn hydrogen rather than kerosene.

    They plan to store it at a pressure of 100 atmospheres. That is about 1500 psi - roughly the pressure inside a full aqualung tank - or three-quarters of a ton per square inch.

    Airworthiness rules require that airliner components be stressed to +4.5G/-1.5G, which implies that the tanks would have to be able to contain (1500 x 4.5 =) 6750 psi. That's over 3 tons per square inch: think what those tanks would weigh! A flight from Heathrow to Gatwick would be long-haul for such an airliner.....

    Not a promising way to store hydrogen in quantities that provide long term resilience!

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