Hynet Debate

HyNet Debate Thursday 11th January 2022 Venue: Storyhouse Chester

A brief explanation of the different different types of Hydrogen https://h2sciencecoalition.com/blog/blue-hydrogen-what-is-it-and-should-it-replace-natural-gas/

The HyNet website explains the vision of the project https://hynet.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/HyNet_NW-Vision-Document-2020_FINAL.pdf which is to develop both the potential for using hydrogen and the process of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to enable decarbonizing of industry as part of achieving net zero by 2050.

Hynet is a NW cluster of companies working together to achieve the vision. It plans to produce over 30TWh (Terra Watt hours) per year from hydrogen from the Stanlow Refinery and other sites by 2030, and capture and store over 2Mt of CO2 in Liverpool Bay.

The meeting was busy with approximately 160 people attending. It was managed with a Chairman who was supported on one side by the Vice Chancellor of University of Chester Prof. Eunice Simmons and by Matt Bryan, Councillor (Upton, Chester) and Leader of CWaC Climate Emergency Taskforce.

General comments regarding the meeting.:

  • A questions slip was passed to every person attending so that questions could be written down and passed to the Chairman.

  • It is best to provide a speaker with a handheld microphone. All speakers tend to ‘wander’ from a static mic.

Messages coming from the speakers at the meeting included:

Prof. Joe Howe. Chair of NW Hydrogen Alliance. (He is involved in the work of the HyNet vision, including the opportunities arising for NW communities)

  • Blue hydrogen is likely to be produced initially.

  • Green hydrogen will be produced to replace blue hydrogen

  • Green hydrogen is being produced abroad

  • There are competitive and collaborative opportunities with other countries

Paul Bowers. CWaC and Green Party Councilor (Helsby).

  • There are problems with Blue hydrogen and the likely release of CO2

  • The delays in the effective production of Green hydrogen plays into the hands of the fossil fuel lobby

  • There are more effective ways of dealing with the ‘Emergency’

Dr Diarmaid Clery. Manchester University, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

  • Global carbon emissions are still going up, not down

  • CCS can be used to decarbonise major NW and Humberside industries with major carbon emissions (eg glass making industry). CCS must be subject to regulation and thereby transparently safe.

  • Use of CCS for a power station would use 20% of the energy produced.

Prof. David Cebon. Cambridge University. Engineering faculty

  • Content of the speech is in this blog post https://www.csrf.ac.uk/blog/hydrogen-for-heating/

  • Hydrogen is inefficient for domestic heating

  • More energy is used in production of the hydrogen than in the energy available for heating.

  • Overall green hydrogen is good for oil processing, glass manufacture etc

  • Heat pump technology is more advanced and more used in Europe than in UK

Jon Egan. Progressive Energy. HyNet supporters

  • There are no simple answers in the development of hydrogen and CCS

  • Multiple actions are required. eg:

    • CCS for Cement industry

    • Hydrogen for decarbonizing major industries

    • HyNet is part of the process of producing solutions.

Don Naylor. Friends of the Earth Liverpool

Chris Matheison. Labour MP for Chester

  • Argues that the people working in the oil & gas need jobs and that their technical skills/expertise needs to be used in the field.

The full video recording of the event is available in two parts - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7ehNxuiGck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGnMWJBxTPw