Commission supports GasNetNew Consortium

12th February, 2021 - 14:07



Surrey Climate Commission have provided a letter of support  to a consortium  called GasNetNew, comprising of experts from the University of Surrey, Nottingham, Loughborough, and Birmingham. The Consortium are applying to the The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, EPSRC to fund a project that will investigate possibilities for using the existing gas network to supply innovative low-carbon heating/cooling solutions to homes and businesses in the UK. These possibilities will include the use of water and aqueous chemical solutions, offering greener alternatives than the use of other gaseous vectors like Hydrogen .

We have identified, supported by our Baseline Study, that heating (mainly delivered via natural gas) is a significant component of Surrey’s carbon emissions.  Part of the overall solution is to move away from natural gas heating networks, and so this opens the question about the future of the natural gas pipe network as a stranded asset. We  also recognise that Hydrogen has the potential to play a significant role, but that there is a limited supply of ‘Green’ Hydrogen so Hydrogen might not be the main or sole solution. Therefore alternative uses for pipe network may become important in the transition from fossil fuel based heating to zero carbon heating.

We are therefore interested in seeing what this research could divulge.

In framing our support we have stressed the importantance of engaging with businesses/organisations, local government, and the public. Our ability to build networks across the County , including an arms-length relationship can only help in this regards, and we have offered our assistance in supporting stakeholder engagement and consultation.