SGN announces delay to hydrogen for heating trial

SGN has announced a delay to its flagship hydrogen for heating project in Scotland.

The gas network said that the H100 Fife project is “taking longer than planned” due to supply chain and procurement challenges.

The project, which was due to begin operating this year and run until 2027, is now slated to go live in summer 2025.

The H100 trial will supply hydrogen to 300 homes in Buckhaven and Denbeath, Fife.

The future of hydrogen for heating in the UK largely rests on the success of the H100 trial, after the government axed the two proposed hydrogen village trials last year.

The H100 trial will be used, alongside projects from Europe, as the main evidence base to inform the government’s 2026 decision on how hydrogen could be used for home heating.

A spokesperson for SGN said: “We’re aiming for H100 Fife to go live in summer 2025. It’s taking longer than we planned to deliver this world-first project which has faced supply chain and procurement challenges.

“We continue to have great support from the community in Buckhaven and Denbeath and are committed to ensuring that residents taking part in H100 Fife receive a first-class customer experience as they lead the world in this ground-breaking green project.”

Engineers have so far installed over 65% of the new 8.2km hydrogen network.

Four out of six storage vessels, which will store the hydrogen for the trial, are also now in place, with each vessel weighing 73 tons. The final two storage vessels are expected to arrive on site in the coming months.

Work has also begun to install the electrolyser on site which will be used to produce hydrogen.

Speaking to Utility Week in September last year, SGN chief executive Mark Wild hoped the project would be live by the end of 2024.

At the time he said: “The point of H100 is to prove the basics of putting a hydrogen boiler into people’s houses. It’s actually very boring and dull; it looks exactly the same as your gas boiler and it behaves in exactly the same way.”

Despite supporting the SGN trial, the government has previously told the public not to bank on the prospect of hydrogen for home heating.

Instead, the government has said that heat pumps and heat networks “will be the primary means of decarbonisation for the foreseeable future”, in its official response to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) annual report last year.

The response adds that “no one should hold back on installing a heat pump or connecting to a heat network on the basis that hydrogen may become an option later”.

The National Infrastructure Commission has also urged the government to rule out hydrogen for home heating.