Futurebuild 2020 Conference and Hy4Heat Stakeholder Event

Written on the 26th March, 2020

In early March, there were two events that were of interest to those looking at the use of hydrogen in the Built Environment.  The first event was the Futurebuild 2020 Conference and this was followed a week later by the Hy4Heat Stakeholder event.

The Futurebuild 2020  was a Three Day Conference entitled “Responding to the Emergency” – meaning the Climate Emergency. The Conference was well attended and shows that a large part of the UK Building Industry is waking up to Climate Change. Unfortunately, there was little on hydrogen at the Conference. There was a presentation from Arup on the UK Government’s Hy4Heat in the Energy programme and Worcester Bosch was showcasing a ‘Hydrogen Ready’ domestic boiler.Futurebuild is an Annual Conference and European Policy Solutions will be contacting the organisers and suggesting a greater role for hydrogen in Futurebuild 2021.

The following Monday, Arup organised the Annual Stakeholder event for the Hy4Heat Programme. Arup manages the £25 million Hy4Heat Programme on behalf of the United Kingdom Government.  The Lead UK Government Department is Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS.)  The event attracted 270 participants – double the number of participants at the first Stakeholder Event.  The Hy4Heat mission is to see if it is “technically possible, safe and convenient to replace natural gas with hydrogen in residential and commercial premises.” This will enable the Government to determine whether to proceed to a community trial. The Conference heard presentations on industrial and commercial applications; standards and certification; safety; and the development of hydrogen applications. These applications included boilers, water heaters, gas fires and cookers which will be ‘Hydrogen Ready.’ A novel idea was to organise cooking demonstrations using hydrogen.

There was one question about hydrogen fuel cells and from the platform one speaker argued that fuel cells weren’t included in the Hy4Heat Programme as they needed pure hydrogen. There was not mention of fuel cells to generate CHP in domestic premises such as in the ene-field and PACE EU projects.

The Hy4Heat Programme is one of the UK Programmes developing hydrogen applications and European Policy Solutions will follow it closely.

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