UK urged to speed up introduction of hydrogen to heat homes by boss of Bamber Bridge firm Baxi

The boss of Baxi UK has called for swifter measures to speed up the introduction of hydrogen in order to decarbonise home heating.

By Brian Ellis
Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:24 pm

Speaking at the Hydrogen Transition Summit in Glasgow, on the fringe of COP26, managing director Karen Boswell said more ambition needed to be shown to ensure hydrogen can take the place of natural gas in UK homes.

Baxi, which employs around 700 staff in the Preston area, is currently demonstrating a hydrogen boiler as part of the UK government’s Hy4Heat programme near Gateshead. The boiler produces no greenhouse gases at the point of use

The UK government currently foresees a potential roll-out of hydrogen ready boilers from 2026. Hydrogen ready boilers initially use natural gas but can be easily converted to use hydrogen as a fuel.

Work has been going on at Baxi in Bamber Bridge to develop hydrogen-fuelled boilers.

Under current plans, the first hydrogen town could be supported with a hydrogen grid by 2030.

Karen Boswell said: “The infrastructure, in our view, will need to move even more quickly in order to get this market going.

“Heat pumps will work in some buildings, heat networks in others but hydrogen represents a strong opportunity to solve this complex puzzle.

“If production is ramped up enough, there are no limits on the number of homes on the current gas grid that could be converted over to utilise hydrogen. This is a race in which every horse needs to be backed.”

The Baxi factory in Club Street, Bamber Bridge.

Baxi said that it would support the re-skilling of installers who will help customers to make the right decisions about low-carbon technology as it is rolled out.

The company was founded by the Baxendale family in Bamber Bridge and is developing hydrogen boilers at its plant in Club Street.

The factory was on the list of stops for a hydrogen-powered bus recently as it travelled the length of the country heading for the COP26 summit in Glasgow.