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The Future Role of Gas in Transport

Green Gas Transport Pathway


This is a Network Innovation Allowance funded project overseen by a steering group comprising the UK and Ireland gas network operators (Cadent, Gas Networks Ireland, National Grid, Northern Gas Networks, SGN, Wales and West). The project follows on from previous studies that modelled the role of green gases in decarbonising the GB economy. The role of this study is to understand the transition from the GB economy today to a decarbonised economy in 2050, focusing on how the transition is achieved and the competing and complementary nature of different low and zero emission fuels and technologies over time.
While the project covers the whole economy it focuses on  transport, especially trucks, as an early adopter of green gases and as a key enabler of the transition. The study and resulting report are aimed at the gas industry and government, and tries to build a green gas decarbonisation narrative supported by a wide range of stakeholders in order clarify the path ahead and thereby focus future efforts on delivering decarbonisation, through green gases, as quickly as possible.
The objectives of the study are:

  • Analyse the complete supply chain production, distribution and use of electricity, biomethane, bio-SNG and hydrogen to understand the role of each fuel and the timeline for scaling up of their use.
  • Develop a narrative based on these findings to show how the use of these fuels scales up over time and how they compete and complement one another.
Once a clear narrative to 2050 was developed put togethera series of policy asks and stakeholder actions to show what is required to achieve the narrative. The study included analysis of two scenarios a High Green Gas scenario and a Low Green Gas scenario. The narrative presented here focuses on the High Green Gas scenario, with commentary on the Low Green Gas scenario covered in Chapter 6.
Green gases
This report discusses the future role of ‘green gases’ which are biomethane and hydrogen produced from low- and zero-carbon sources, each produced via two main methods:
Biomethane from Anaerobic Digestion (AD): A mature technology for turning biological material into a non-fossil form of natural gas (methane). AD plants produce biogas which must then be upgraded to biomethane.
Biomethane from Bio-Substitute Natural Gas (Bio-SNG): This technology is at an earlier stage of development than AD, but has the potential to unlock other feedstocks for biomethane production such as waste wood and residual household waste.
Blue Hydrogen: Hydrogen from reformation of natural gas which produces hydrogen and carbon monoxide. 90-95% of the carbon is captured and stored making this a low-carbon form of hydrogen.
Green Hydrogen: Water is split into hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis using electricity generated by renewables. No carbon emissions are produced so this is zero-carbon hydrogen."

Funding source: Cadent, Gas Networks Ireland, National Grid, Northern Gas Networks, SGN, Wales and West Utilities
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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The Future Role of Gas in Transport: Green Gas Transport Pathway Animation

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