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The three projects propose to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to:
The lifecycle analysis projects should help inform policy (e.g., sustainable investment) on the relative merits of various hydrogen value chain options, such as the embedded carbon associated with different options for transporting hydrogen between a supplier and a recipient. This should help a recipient to understand the relative ‘greenness’ of hydrogen supplies.
The ‘safety case’ project seeks to understand the range of legislation and regulations applicable to foreseeable hydrogen value chain options, and whether there are gaps that fall under general duties in higher level legislation that lack detailed interpretation. This mapping has been carried out both for foreseeable onshore and offshore hydrogen facilities and operations.
Each project envisages several phases. Only Phase 1 has been commissioned within available funding. The findings of Phase 1 will be used to ascertain whether there is value in taking forward Phases 2, 3 and 4, e.g., to infill knowledge shortfalls.
Phase 1 generally comprises a baseline/gap-analysis desktop research to define the current position.
A stakeholder Working Group has been established to further develop the scope of each project, provide direction and peer review the Phase 1 draft deliverable. The active participants for each project are:
Total Energies, Chrysaor, Genesis Energies, SSE, Kingston University, BP, University of Brighton, Cadent, and Engineering Solutions.
Neptune Energy, Uniper Energy, University of Brighton, Environment Agency, CNOOC, SSE Thermal, Harbour Energy, ENI, Vattenfall, Aramco, TotalEnergies, Beacon Tech Consulting, IChemE, and Frazer Nash Consultancy.
Progressive Energy, Health and Safety Executive, ERM, National Grid, Environment Agency, Petrofac, ENI, WSP, Thornton Tomasetti and Vulcan Hazard Management
The first lifecycle analysis project is complete with main deliverable published as a research report: “Application of life cycle assessment methodology to the understanding of the energy balance and efficiency of hydrogen value chain building.”
The deliverable from the lifecycle analysis for energy intensity and associated CO2 emissions covers production, transmission, storage & distribution, and usage/consumption aspects of the hydrogen value chain. By joining the outcomes of these three blocks together, an analysis of the energy balance and efficiencies of the whole system can be obtained to inform decision making, such as investment or procurement policy.
A Phase 2 project is not required; however, the Energy Institute is commissioning a related project to address the technical requirements for compression for transmission systems operating at nominally 100% hydrogen.
The second lifecycle analysis project is in progress and expected to be technically finalised by end Q4 2022/2023 fiscal year.
Follow-on knowledge gap filling research needs have been identified; the intent is to address priority gaps, subject to stakeholder interest and funding.
The ‘safety case’ project has delivered an interim deliverable “Technical workshop proceedings: Hydrogen safety cases – Challenges in hydrogen safety case development in UK/European industrial clusters”.
The main deliverable of this project has also been published as research report: “Review of Directives/Regulations relevant to the safe and environmentally compliant production, transportation, and storage of hydrogen”.
A key finding from the ‘safety case’ project is that a comprehensive set of legislation and regulations covering the end-to-end processes and hydrogen application is by no means complete (albeit typically covered by generic higher-level legislation).
Needs for follow-on gap filling studies have been identified, covering ‘safety case’ guidance development, and data requirements for process hazard analysis and risk assessment studies. The Energy Institute has commissioned the former and a final report is ‘in press’ with publication expected in Q1 2023 (financial year). The Energy Institute is considering options to address the latter.