Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds should be a leading 'hydrogen city', report suggests

Gas hob
Image caption Leeds was chosen as the first city due to its "geographical location and size"

Leeds should be the first city in the UK to convert its gas grid to hydrogen to help meet carbon reduction targets, a report has suggested.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) claims a nationwide move away from methane to a hydrogen grid was "technically possible and economically viable".

The gas distributor said conversion could start in Leeds by 2026, with estimated costs of £2bn.

The city has been selected due to its "size and location", the report said.

The H21 Leeds City Gate report said more than 30% of all UK carbon emissions were from domestic heating and cooking, with a conversion to hydrogen reducing heat emissions by "a minimum of 73%".

Existing underground gas pipes could be used and household appliances could be converted to run on hydrogen, it added.

'A bold step'

Instead of burning methane and releasing carbon into the atmosphere, the process would remove the carbon and store it in "appropriate geological storage locations" under the North Sea.

The remaining hydrogen, which emits no carbon dioxide when burnt, would then be used for domestic energy, NGN said.

Dan Sadler, from NGN, said: "This is a major opportunity for our country to become a world leader in hydrogen technology and decarbonisation and would create thousands of new jobs across the UK."

The gas distributor said the highly flammable substance would need "expert management", but added research had found the risk between hydrogen and natural gas leaks in a typical home "comparable".

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council's executive member for environment and sustainability, said: "Transforming Leeds into a hydrogen city would be a bold step.

"The project has massive potential to make a significant dent in the city's environmental performance, as well as opening up a wealth of opportunities for innovation, manufacturing and low carbon transport."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites