Whitby is up against Redcar to become the UK's first 'hydrogen village'. Credit: via Cadent

Ellesmere Port’s Whitby could become ‘hydrogen village’

Up to 2,000 homes in the area could receive free boiler upgrades and be supplied with hydrogen rather than natural gas for their heating and cooking needs.

That is if Whitby is chosen to be the country’s first ‘hydrogen village’ by Ofgem and the government. Cadent and British Gas, along with Cheshire West and Chester Council, are putting forward Whitby for the honour. Northern Gas Networks has thrown Yorkshire town Redcar into the ring.

If selected, residents of Whitby will start receiving hydrogen in 2025. Cadent and British Gas have guaranteed that, for two years, the Whitby resident will pay the same to use hydrogen as they would for natural gas.

The hope is that by using hydrogen over natural gas the UK could cut carbon emissions. Currently, the average household in the country emits more than 2.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, according to Cadent.

“This is a really exciting project that puts Whitby in Ellesmere Port right at the heart of a lower-carbon future for the country as a whole,” said Cadent’s head of hydrogen consumer, Marc Clarke.

“Previous projects have clearly shown hydrogen’s potential, and now, with this scheme, we are showing how hydrogen can be used at scale to cut emissions from heating and cooking,” he continued.

North West Hydrogen Alliance chair Joe Howe described the announcement that Whitby could become a hydrogen village as a “watershed moment” for the region.

“Much has been made of hydrogen as a way to cut emissions from industry, but it will also play a critical role in our everyday lives as a low carbon way to heat our homes,” he said.

“Creating a hydrogen village is the natural next step in making the switch away from natural gas and we’re strongly backing the bid by Cadent and British Gas, supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council.”

Adding to Whitby’s appeal is its proximity to HyNet, a project geared towards producing, storing and distributing hydrogen in the region. HyNet also aims to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions.

Now that Whitby has been shortlisted to become a ‘hydrogen village’, Cadent, British Gas and CWAC are working together to make sure residents understand the benefits of the scheme.

CWAC leader Cllr Louise Gittins said: “With the hope that the full 2025 village programme will be awarded to our region, the council and Cadent will be working closely to create a strong community programme, with residents in Whitby, Ellesmere Port and throughout the borough. Residents will be engaged and empowered to co-produce this project throughout the process.”

Ofgem will decide Whitby’s hydrogen village fate in 2023.

Learn more about the hydrogen village program at hydrogenvillage.com.

Your Comments

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Shame nobody who actually lives in the ‘village’ has been consulted about this in any way by the council before they decided we will be guinea pigs whether we want to be or not

By Anonymous

I have duel fuel with British Gas if I go with hydrogen will my supplier still be British Gas

By Anonymous

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