The ‘Bacton Energy Hub: Exploring the potential for hydrogen from the Southern North Sea’ study will develop a detailed map of existing offshore and onshore energy-related infrastructure and potential scenarios in which wind farms, gas platforms, subsea pipelines and cables could be integrated or repurposed over time to support hydrogen production.
The Bacton terminal on the north Norfolk coast, which receives gas from various fields in the southern North Sea, could be used for injection of clean hydrogen into the UK’s national grid.
It follows various research reports identifying a role for hydrogen to support decarbonization of heat and transport systems. Results from this study should be incorporated into the UK government’s UK Hydrogen Strategy, due to be published later in the year.
Plans include a hydrogen hub as part of the Freeports East bid, led by the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.
According to Hydrogen East, hydrogen can be used and stored as a zero-carbon fuel supporting low-carbon heating for homes and business, and almost all forms of transport, including vessels and aircraft.
Research is under way into applying various technologies to produce hydrogen, such as electrolysers powered by offshore wind, or reforming natural gas to hydrogen while capturing and storing carbon dioxide in depleted gas reservoirs beneath the North Sea.
The scoping study is co-funded by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, and North Norfolk District Council, with support from New Anglia Energy, Opergy, and Xodus Group.