In the UK, resource management company, Veolia UK Ltd has announced that it is advancing its program to create the hydrogen gas supply infrastructure and decarbonize the UK energy supply. Believed to be the first application of its type in the country, the company's latest development is now managing projects which incorporate electrolyzer technology to derive hydrogen from water, and powering these using low carbon electricity from its Energy Recovery Facilities (ERF).
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For many years, fossil methane gas has been used to heat homes and businesses and used in power stations to generate electricity. As a result, some 85 percent of homes and 40 percent of the UK’s electricity rely on fossil gas releasing fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when consumed.
Veolia’s projects will accelerate progress towards climate protection and a net-zero future, by replacing fossil fuels and realizing the potential to decarbonize heat in industry, businesses, and homes, and provide vehicle fuels.
By using electrolysis, powered by low-carbon electricity, it could create hydrogen that can be stored for future energy needs. This, the company says, will cut carbon emissions, and is a potential future solution for decarbonization.
The UK gas industry is testing ways to use hydrogen in the gas grid, and Veolia is already preparing sites to be able to use this hydrogen in a range of on-site energy plants such as combined heat and power (CHP) units, and industrial boiler plants.
Reducing carbon emissions and slowing environmental change are now a priority. By developing new ways of generating zero-carbon hydrogen we have the potential of covering the energy needs of our modern lives and stopping the climate-damaging impact of CO2. This represents a real step forward on the route to a net-zero world, said Donald Macphail, Chief Operating Officer – Treatment at Veolia.
Veolia currently operates ten ERF plants in the UK. These have a combined power generating capacity of 180 MW and process 2.3 million tonnes per annum of non-recyclable waste. This generating capacity takes the pressure off the stretched UK electrical grid and effectively avoids using virgin fossil fuels for power generation.