Friday 3 February 2023

‘What are we going to do when the wind doesn’t blow?’

‘What are we going to do when the wind doesn’t blow?’

“What would this country do if there was no gas? 210,000 business relying on it, 23 million homes being heated by it. All of the power plants, CCGs on full blast, doing 56% of electricity. Imagine a world with no gas? The lights would be out, people would have no heat and hot water.”

That’s the point made by National Gas CEO Jon Butterworth, who says he understands people’s qualms with gas but “the amount of energy this country [and Ireland] uses, cannot be done just with electricity.”

He calls for a just transition; using wind, nuclear, solar and gas to fill in the gaps.

We’ve built our energy infrastructure around gas – but this doesn’t have to be wasted in the new age of green power.

Hydrogen can make use of all this infrastructure and become an answer to the issue of carbon emissions.

Mr Butterworth explains: “When the wind is spinning at night, we can make hydrogen for nothing. Windmills are spinning anyway. We can put that hydrogen into store of depleted gas fields that are already there in the North Sea.

“The pipelines are already there because they were oil and gas pipelines, terminals are already there. So, just by good luck and geology where the wind is being built is exactly where the gas and the stores are.

“We can use a balance of blue hydrogen, sequestrating the CO2 and green hydrogen – making all that hydrogen at night, putting it into store and then when it’s needed, dispatching it in the morning to the cities – to give carbon-free gas to the population and industry.”

Watch the full interview to learn more about how hydrogen could be implemented into our energy mix and what National Gas is planning to do to achieve this.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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