In Denmark, one of the contributing factors for recent success in attracting hydrogen investments** has been the creation of opportunities to sell waste heat into the country’s well-estab- lished heat networks. Major new hydrogen projects develop- ing in Esbjerg, Fredericia and Copenhagen are today all inte- grated parts of local heat planning - planned to deliver large quantities of waste heat into DH networks. This synergy yields additional revenue and branding for the hydrogen producer, low-cost green heat for the DH network as well as potentially important gains in efficiency and integration of the energy sys- tem as a whole. These synergies and cross-sector benefits are of particular in- terest to national governments. In the UK, national governments are working to introduce a new tool that could provide similar opportunities for its local authorities and other stakeholders. Local heat network ‘zoning’, as it is called, is a planning tool meant to allow local authorities to identify and designate areas where DH is recognised as the lowest cost, lowest carbon solution for decarbonising heat. The tool is still under development and its methodology and regu- latory reach is therefore still somewhat uncertain. That said, it is standard that any heat planning process includes assessment of existing waste heat sources. As suggested by this study, it might add great value if future heat policy and zoning meth- odologies also looks at assessment or designation of suitable hydrogen production sites. If consideration of waste heat from hydrogen sources can be integrated into the future UK heat policy and zoning frame- work, it could attract renewed interest from hydrogen produc- ers, most of whom at present are unlikely to concern them- selves with opportunities for heat recovery. And through their local knowledge and position, local authorities could be the ideal stakeholder to promote this sector integration and en- sure that great synergies are realised between two key energy infrastructures of the future.
Fuel Cell Heat only Boiler Hydrogen CHP Injection to the Gas Grid (out of current scope)
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** The Danish projects are not only producers of hydrogen, but also other e-fuels or power-to-x products
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