Britain and other countries must remove carbon from their heating and cooling, British Gas owner Centrica said today, but warned a move to make the gas grid run on hydrogen is “unlikely to be practical”.
Centrica chief executive Iain Conn said natural gas would be “crucial” in the transition to reducing carbon emissions, and that Britain would need to start using more of it before it could wean off the fossil fuel.
“It is quite clear that we cannot get from A to B without using more natural gas,” he said at a speech at the Aurora Spring Forum in Oxford.
“I don’t believe in the mass use of pure hydrogen, I think it highly unlikely to be practical,” Conn said, but said he was open to injecting around nine per cent hydrogen into the grid.
“We have done a lot of decarbonising power generation, but heating and cooling will be key,” he added.
The remarks come just a week after chancellor Philip Hammond announced a plan to ban fossil fuel boilers from new homes built after 2025.
“We will introduce a future homes standard mandating the end of fossil fuel heating systems in all new houses from 2025, delivering lower carbon and lower fuel bills too,” Hammond told parliament during last week’s Spring Statement.
Conn said that heat pumps would eventually start taking British homes off the gas grid. He also said the world would be able to add around one gigawatt of renewable power capacity each day for the next 30 years.