Published: 13 December 2019
A project led by gas and power networks operator Stedin aims to show that homes can be heated safely and efficiently with clean hydrogen
The project is a valuable testing ground for makers of equipment for producing and using hydrogen in the built environment
DNV GL manages the project and provides expert support for hydrogen technology
Homes in the Netherlands are being heated with 100% hydrogen, replacing natural gas in an existing pipeline for the first time in the country. The five-year project (2018–2023) involving apartments in a residential block in Rotterdam is demonstrating that zero-carbon hydrogen could help to decarbonize heating. This is one of the biggest challenges in countries where natural gas delivered in established pipeline networks dominates residential heating.
The trial in the Rozenburg area of Rotterdam is the second phase of the Power2Gas programme being led by Stedin, a Dutch gas and power grid operator. It aims to prove the viability of this approach across the entire gas value chain from hydrogen production to end use.
The first phase (2013–2018) produced synthetic natural gas (SNG), methane, made by reacting hydrogen with carbon dioxide, for the apartment block. The same, short pipeline network used then is now delivering hydrogen from a nearby small-scale electrolysis facility powered by electricity. Hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water is termed ‘green’ if the electricity is from renewable power sources.
“So far [December 2019], a substantial quantity of green hydrogen has been produced on site at Rozenburg and utilized for heating using 100% hydrogen boilers. Things are still looking good, and the interesting period will come over the winter when demand is highest,” said Albert van der Molen, expert asset management, Stedin.