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Blended Hydrogen: The UK Public’s Perspective


Hydrogen is increasingly being positioned as an important component of the UK’s Net Zero ambitions and commitments. In particular, hydrogen could be an appropriate way to decarbonise the heat produced for domestic and industrial buildings. It is possible that hydrogen could replace natural gas in the UK gas network, achieving key carbon emissions reduction targets while enabling homes to be heated to a similar level and standard as they currently are.
In the interim, small amounts of hydrogen will soon be blended into current natural gas supplies. The premise of this idea is to blend hydrogen into the existing gas network in small enough quantities to not require any adjustments to domestic cookers, boilers, and other gas-fired appliances, but in large enough quantities to generate significant, immediate reductions in carbon emissions. Three trials will take place between 2019 and 2022 as part of the HyDeploy project, with the aim of demonstrating that hydrogen blending can occur at scale with no safety implications and no disruption to users.
Public perceptions and acceptance of hydrogen will be pivotal in this scenario. At present, there is very little indication of how acceptable hydrogen will be for heating homes, and questions around safety, cost, and performance are only beginning to be understood and addressed.
This report investigates public perceptions of blended hydrogen as a fuel for UK homes. In March 2019 we administered a survey to a sample (n=742) representative of the UK adult population in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, and personal income. Our survey covered initial perceptions, values, and knowledge of hydrogen; the possibilities and pitfalls of hydrogen blending; public trust; and participants’ overall support for hydrogen. Key Findings and Conclusions and Recommendations for Policy and Practice follow immediately, with the full report beginning on p.6.

Funding source: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Countries: United Kingdom

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