A new report published by global research & consultancy firm, Guidehouse, highlights the potential for significant cost-savings of up to £38 billion through the adoption of a whole-system approach to Great Britain’s hydrogen and electricity transmission infrastructure planning.
The Gas and Electricity Transmission Infrastructure Outlook 2050 (“GETIO”), a collaboration between National Grid Electricity Transmission, National Gas Transmission and National Grid ESO, finds that integrated system planning will deliver infrastructure optionality and help de-risk new projects, boosting investment and long-term cost savings, despite the potential for increases in the near term.
Across the modelled scenarios, including with higher electrification and renewables generation, a hydrogen transmission system plays a vital role with gas turbines and hydrogen storage being critical in supporting whole energy system demand by delivering up to 95 GW of firm, dispatchable supply to supporting the gas and electricity systems during peak demand periods and low wind days.
Given the locational differences in future hydrogen demand and supply across Britain, the repurposing of existing gas transmission infrastructure is highlighted as crucial to ensuring the development of an effective hydrogen network, regardless of the potential differences in design and scale which differ between scenarios.
The report highlights a number of challenges that require addressing including leadership, incentives, infrastructure and collaboration and how urgency in developing regulatory arrangements, appropriate incentives and infrastructure investments can help Britain achieve its ambitious goal of reaching net zero by 2050.
Martin Cook, Chief Commercial Officer at National Gas, commented: “The challenges we face in reaching net zero are complex, but we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to decarbonise our energy system and secure the future of our economy and environment. “This report reinforces how developing a hydrogen backbone for Britain will be a critical part of our journey to a clean energy future and why industry and government must work together and take a whole system approach to deliver a flexible, reliable and affordable energy network that works for everyone."