Today’s announcement by ITM Power Plc (LON:ITM) is a potential game changer for hydrogen in the UK, in that it opens the door for the creation and growth of a full, UK P2G market. It both facilitates intermittent renewable energy storage from increasing capacity and decarbonises the gas grid, which delivers the majority of the heat that currently accounts for one third of UK carbon emissions. ITM has a platform already proven, and selected through competitive tender processes, for P2G applications in the evolving German market. National Grid has bought 0.5MW of ITM’s state-of-the-art electrolysis platform with c. £1m of the overall budget to sit at the core of this market enabling project, which also involves Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, the Health and Safety Laboratory and Progressive Energy.
- Demand-side grid balancing with scale energy storage is the mechanism by which intermittent renewables can be fully incorporated into the national energy infrastructure, simultaneously storing intermittent renewables and decarbonizing the gas grid, and hence heat. To date in the UK, storage by P2G conversion and injection of the hydrogen produced into the gas grid has been blocked by regulation. This project, funded by Ofgem – the UK government’s regulator for the electricity and downstream natural gas markets – is a key stage in removing that regulatory blockage, and catalyzing the growth of a full P2G market in the UK for renewables storage and decarbonized heat. This is an excellent development for ITM, who possess a technology platform able to sit at the core of the sub-second, rapid-response P2G market as proven by its selection through competitive tender in the developing German market.
- ITM currently has £18.27m of projects under contract and £2.79m in final negotiation. This gives a total pipeline of c. £21.06m contracted or in final negotiation subject to exchange rate variation. This growing pipeline is evidence of ITM executing its strategy of embedding its technology in its primary target markets of scale renewables storage by power to gas (‘P2G’) and hydrogen fueling infrastructure at this key early stage of market evolution.
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power Plc, commented: “This award by Ofgem to fund a demonstration of the use of hydrogen in the gas grid is the first step towards the creation of a UK Power-to-Gas market, which will play an important part in the decarbonisation of the U.K. gas grid. We are delighted to be a contributor to setting out the structure and benefits to the public of this new market.”