National Gas and Fluxys Belgium, the British and Belgian gas transmission networks, respectively, have entered a cross-border collaboration agreement focusing on decarbonising gas infrastructure, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the utilisation of North Sea energy resources.
At the UK embassy in Brussels, UK Energy Minister Andrew Bowie signed a memorandum of understanding with the Belgian Minister for Energy Tinne Van der Straeten to increase cooperation on decarbonisation infrastructure, marking 25 years of operation of the gas Interconnector, which runs from Norfolk to Zeebrugge.
The agreement looks to advance the exchange of hydrogen energy between the two nations. Fluxys Belgium is developing large-scale hydrogen and National Gas has launched Project Union to connect hydrogen infrastructure.
Bowie said: “Today the UK cemented its position as a world-leader in green hydrogen production, backing new projects from the south-west of England to the Scottish Highlands. This agreement between the British and Belgian national gas transmission networks will provide the essential infrastructure for transporting hydrogen and build on 25 years of collaboration to bolster the UK and Europe’s energy security for the coming decades.”
Hydrogen has been a recent focus for policymakers. On Thursday, the UK Department for Energy Security and Net-Zero (DESNZ) confirmed that 11 green hydrogen projects will benefit from funding through its Hydrogen Production Business Model. Through such projects, 125MW of new renewable hydrogen production capacity will be generated.
Claire Coutinho, DESNZ Secretary, said: “Today’s announcement represents the largest number of commercial-scale green hydrogen production projects announced at once anywhere in Europe.”
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The government aims to bring 10GW of ‘low-carbon’ hydrogen online by 2030. To guarantee the ‘low-carbon’ facet, at least half of this will be green hydrogen, but the rest will be blue. Blue hydrogen is produced using natural gas and requires co-location of CCS to ensure it is neutral in terms of the environment.